Lewis Hamilton: Nowhere I would rather be than Mercedes
SILVERSTONE, U.K. -- Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes knows how committed he is to extending his stay with the team beyond 2018.
Hamilton is one of a number of big-name drivers in the final year of their existing deals this season but there has been little suggestion the four-time world champion will not sign an extension, with team boss Toto Wolff previously saying it's just a "matter of time" until a new deal is agreed.
When asked about the state of the negotiations with Mercedes during the launch of its new car, Hamilton said: "Me and Toto have been talking for a while. Once I left in December, I was away. It's not something I particularly like to do over the phone, and I didn't get back until February. During that time we spoke very often, we've constantly been talking to each other."
Hamilton says he has no reason to think about quitting F1 or joining another team any time soon.
"Toto knows that I know there is no-one better, so he's not going to be looking anywhere else, and he knows that I know there is no-one else better, so I'm not going to be looking anywhere else. So we're comfortable and we're committed to each other. It's just about talking out the details. Hopefully we'll have something done before the new season, before we start the first race. But again we're just in no rush."
"There's no reason to rush anything. There's no panic. I'm not feeling under any pressure. Toto and Mercedes have no reason to feel that I'm talking to anyone else. In the whole six years I've been here, I haven't spoken to another team once.
"I think that shows my commitment. I know that the team have been contacted by other drivers in the past and probably still do today. That's inevitable. But we always made it clear that if I was to engage and look at my options, I would inform them, and I've not needed to because I haven't."
Wolff is resisting the urge to put a date on when a deal might be signed because he thinks it adds unnecessary pressure and speculation to the situation.
"I think the sooner the better. But the minute you put the date out, you're going to be reminded about the date -- and it doesn't make any sense to put ourselves under pressure.
"It's important to cover every angle of the cooperation, he's been with the team for six years so we're talking about extending that, a very long time with the same driver, in the same team, and I guess a couple of weeks would be a realistic target... A couple, it means two, right? I mean 'few weeks'."