Lewis Hamilton admitted that he was unsure of his Formula 1 future after 2021, which was one of the reasons he asked for a one year deal. The British racing driver signed a single year contract in February this year for the 2021 season, but it took Hamilton and Mercedes more than a few months to come to an agreement.
The seven-time world champion became a free agent as negotiations with Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff dragged on. Hamilton admitted that initially it was supposed to be a two-year deal but the Covid-19 pandemic and lack of face-to-face meetings also contributed to them agreeing just a one-year deal.
"I had a lot on over Christmas and New Year, it was a stressful period, and naturally we were doing it over Zoom, which is not always the most productive when you're having these conversations," Hamilton said, as quoted on GP Fans.
"The past contract was potentially going to be a two-year deal and I asked for it to be one year because we'd been through a pandemic and there was so much change in the world. Also, I wasn't sure whether I would continue or not."
However, all that has now changed after Hamilton agreed to a new two-year deal with Mercedes earlier this month, keeping him with the reigning champions until the end of the 2023 season. The Briton admitted that the negotiations were far smoother this time around.
Moreover, Hamilton stressed that a great start to the 2021 season that saw him win three of the first four races contributed to him deciding to extend his stay in the sport. Despite Red Bull Racing wining the last five races, the Mercedes driver says that he is enjoying the "roller coaster ride."
"It was a lot smoother than it was in December and January," Hamilton added. "This one was much easier. Toto [Wolff] and I spent a lot more time together face to face."
"But I started off the year and had the best and most enjoyable start of the year, I'm enjoying the rollercoaster ride we're having, and the best thing has been to get this done before the summer break. So now we can just focus on being the best team we can be."