Lewis Hamilton ‘applying pressure’ on Mercedes as time ‘running out’

Hamilton opens up on plans to remain in F1 ahead of new season

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Lewis Hamilton will put “pressure” on Mercedes to solve their issues as “time is of the essence” to achieve his F1 dreams before retirement. That is according to Sky Sports F1 host Naomi Schiff, who says Hamilton is in “no position” to win his eighth world championship with the Silver Arrows this season.

This comes after the seven-time champion already struggled with a year away from the frontrunners in 2022.

Mercedes lacked pace in Bahrain’s season-opener with the German manufacturer now the fourth-fastest team on the grid behind Red Bull, Ferrari and Aston Martin. Hamilton has been clear that he wants to remain in F1 until he surpasses Michael Schumacher’s record with an eighth title.

He made the admission in a lie detector test broadcasted by Sky Sports F1 on Sunday ahead of the opening race of the season.

Schiff said: “For [Hamilton] I guess it was the moment that confirmed that really they were still really much on the back foot, and hadn’t made much or any progress in the winter period.

“Lewis obviously, and he mentioned it in the Sky Sports exclusive with Simon Lazenby and his lie detector test, is here for his eighth title. He’s waiting and going to stay for it. But for him to be in this position, is not putting him in any sort of position to get that eighth title.

“I’m sure there’s a lot of pressure internally, from both drivers, but I guess even more so from Lewis because he’s not getting any younger. He’s obviously got Fernando [Alonso] to look up to in terms of how far you can go. But time is of the essence. They [Mercedes] spent an entire season struggling and being unhappy with where they were at with the car.

“So to have had this whole winter period and come back even a step backwards from where they were at the last race last season, that is what is so tough to accept.”

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Hamilton is yet to put pen to paper on a new contract with the Silver Arrows despite claims a deal would be signed over the winter. It has led Jenson Button and Damon Hill to conclude that Hamilton was likely waiting to see how competitive the team were before agreeing on his future.

However, Hamilton insisted the remarks were simply “rumours without facts”. He added: “I have been with Mercedes since I was 13, and last year we had a difficult year, but I am still here, and whether or not we have a difficult year this year, I will still be here.”

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