Lewis Hamilton dismisses retirement talk as he vows to stay in F1 with Mercedes for LONGER with contract up next year | The Sun

LEWIS HAMILTON is raring to go to get back behind the wheel and says he is planning to stay with Mercedes for longer.

The 38-year-old helped launch Mercedes' challenger for 2023 – the striking all-black W14.

This season marks his 17th in F1 and with his contract with Mercedes set to expire at the end of the season, he has again hinted that he wants to remain with the team.

Hamilton said: "I think for all of us we always miss driving, so the winter break initially feels too short.

"And then when you get towards the end of it you're like 'ok, I'm ready to go back into the action' but I definitely maximise and enjoyed it.

"I know I've been here [at Mercedes] a long time. It's the combined energy of all the individuals in the team.

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"I love being a part of a team that's working towards a common goal. I continue to love racing, I think that's never going to change as it is part of my DNA.

"I always believe that I can get better. I always love that challenge of the mental and the physical element of it and having to deep dive and see how you can extract more performance.

"It's not the same car every year. You know, it's always changing. There's always new tools, always a new logbook they have to get used to.

"And I love that, so you know, I am planning to stay there longer."

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has revealed the car – which is an evolution from last year's model with no sidepods – is in black to save weight.

The bodywork is mainly unpainted carbon fibre to save grams or excess weight.

Wolff added: "When you look at where the story of the Silver Arrows came from, it is that the Mercedes was put on track and was painted white.

"But it was overweight and they scratched off the paint and it ended up in aluminium and the car made the weight.

"We really tried to get the weight off the car so we committed to [reducing] the grams by leaving the car in matte carbon.

"So history repeats itself, just in this case it is modern materials like carbon and not aluminium. It just came together and it feels right."

Meanwhile, George Russell says the team's goal for this season is simply to win the championship.

Russell, who turned 24 on the day of the launch, said: "Knowing how last season panned out and the challenges we had with the car, I think we can be pretty proud of the job we did.

"There were a lot of positives to take away from that season. The reliability of the car was great. The strategy on many occasions was really, really strong.

"In the personal learnings we all went through and the technical learnings, that's all gone into [this year's] car.

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"We're all here to win. It's as simple as that. The motivation and the fire within our factory is immense, because people don't want a repeat of what happened in 2022.

"So we're ready for it and we're motivated to go out there and fight."

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