Britain’s triple world champ targets a record-equalling 68th pole position for the Hungary GP and says he loves his team
LEWIS HAMILTON insists he will only quit Mercedes when he retires from Formula One.
Great Britain’s triple world champion has 17 months left on his £30million-a-season contract but has been linked with a mega-money move to Ferrari.
However, as Hamilton bids to equal Michael Schumacher’s record 68 pole positions at this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, he declared: “I am so happy at Mercedes. If I was to jump ship from here, that would be when I stop.
“When I joined this team, I could not have dreamed of the environment being any better, regardless of the results.
“If I was to move, I’d have to take what we have here and implement it somewhere else, but do I really want to do that? I have no real need.
“There is no other team, apart from Ferrari, that would be interesting but right now, I love being here and the people I work for and work with.
“I love the company and on top of that, I love that when you are a Mercedes driver, there is no other team in the sport that takes care of you like Mercedes does.
“So to turn your back on that and leave that behind would be a difficult call to make.”
Which F1 races will be live on Channel 4 in 2017? Full Formula One TV schedule for the new season – all you need to know
IN fine vettel
Sebastian Vettel gets pole as Ferrari dominate in Hungary… and rival Lewis Hamilton can only manage fourth
good morning Vietnam
F1 chiefs investigating race in Vietnam as replacement for Malaysian Grand Prix
Hungary for success
When is the F1 Hungarian Grand Prix and what TV channel is the race at the Hungaroring on?
Hungarian Grand Prix LIVE: Lewis Hamilton goes for pole in qualifying… but rival Vettel was fastest in practice
On top of his lucrative salary, and the option of future work as an ambassador for the German car giant, Mercedes also allow him the freedom to enjoy his jet-set lifestyle.
Hamilton, 32, is riding on the crest of a wave following his victory at the British Grand Prix coming after a whistle-stop two-day break in Mykonos.
And he has the chance to show he is also ‘King of the Ring’ at the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend.
Hamilton knows that a win in Sunday’s race would see him sail off into the summer break leading the championship on his own for the first time this season.
It will also be the first time since last year’s Italian GP that he would be leading the title race.
He said: “I feel great. I’m excited and still buzzing from Silverstone.
“This has been a great race for me for many years.
“I enjoy coming to Budapest as well, a beautiful city, and the track is spectacular. This has been my most successful track. But honestly, I’ve not thought about breaking Michael’s record. I can’t tell you what it’s going to feel like.
“I’m going to get that pole at some stage. I’d rather just wait until that moment.
“I’m sure it will be an incredible feeling, but right now I can’t tell you what I’m going to feel like.”
Hamilton, who is just one point behind Sebastian Vettel, has won in Hungary a record five times.
He added: “I’m just really grateful that it’s close in the title race. I was going into Silverstone with that 20-point deficit.
“In the past I’ve been 50 points down, or whatever it was, and I don’t give up. But 20 points still felt like quite a decent gap, so to come away into this weekend with that one point is encouraging.
“I’m really focused on doing the best job I can and score the most points to remain in that fight and hope that when push comes to shove, I’ve got the upper hand.”
Keep up to date with ALL the transfer news and gossip on our blog