Hamilton leaves a big hint about the future; Ricciardo identifies key weakness: F1 Pit Talk

Lewis Hamilton is already in the upper echelons of the place in terms of success, but last weekend he joined a rare six-member drivers club to start 300 grand prix.

He’ll overtake Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher to take fourth at the United States Grand Prix, and he’ll beat Ruben Barrichello’s 322 races to take third on Lap 13 next season.

Kimi Raikkonen holds the record for most starts, with 349, but Fernando Alonso, the only active driver with more starts than Hamilton, will claim it at the Singapore Grand Prix in October.

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He is therefore part of an esteemed company – but also reaches the upper limits of historic longevity in Formula 1.

And with a record equaling seven titles under his belt and all-time records for wins, poles and podiums, one would imagine he’s set to call it a day when his contract runs out next December.

Still, Hamilton says he’s not done yet, with his next mission to help Mercedes return to the Championship.

Suddenly, 400 races may not seem so far away.

Elsewhere, Daniel Ricciardo reflected on his main weakness at the French Grand Prix ahead of this weekend’s race in Hungary, where he has enjoyed great success in the past, while Sergio Perez is set to become a manager. team in a fledgling electric racing series.

HAMILTON HAS “MANY LEFT IN THE TANK” AFTER 300 RACES

Lewis Hamilton has hinted a contract extension could be considered when his current contract expires at the end of next year, saying he enjoys the sport “more than ever” despite Mercedes’ struggles.

Hamilton is having the least successful season of his career, having never gone more than 10 races without a win. After 12 rounds this season, his best result is second place, taken last weekend in France. He also faces the prospect of the first winless season of his entire racing career.

At 37, Hamilton has spoken openly about his possible retirement, and some believed the stipulations of his current contract, which commits him and Mercedes to significant charity work in the area of ​​social justice and equality , positioned it to go post-F1. life.

Leclerc collapses from the French GP | 01:26

But Mercedes’ decline this season appears to have energized the Briton, especially as signs of modest progress became evident in the final rounds, coinciding with his 300th race, and the seven-time champion instead suggested he was considering a new contract.

“I want to be grateful first of all that it’s come to this,” he said. “But I still feel fresh and I still feel like I have a lot of fuel left in the tank.

“I enjoy what I do.

“I’m really, really proud and love coming in every day and working with this incredible group of people.

“I also love working with sport more than ever. We have great people running the sport and having great conversations about where we are going as a sport, so I appreciate that more than ever. I would say, in this space.

Hamilton stressed that the challenge of rebuilding Mercedes – having played a relatively small role in transforming them into winners in 2014 despite their significant contributions to keeping the team at the top afterwards – motivated him to keep going.

“Of course I want to get back to winning ways, and that will take time, but I’m sure we’ll sit down at some point and talk about the future,” he said.

“But again, just with our team, I always want to keep building. It’s one thing to have races, but it’s also to continue the work that we’re doing on the outside and to do more, that that I think Mercedes and we can always do more, and we will.”

Sainz FIRE by Ferrari’s strange tactics | 01:12

RICCIARDO IDENTIFIES TIRES AS A KEY DEFICIT FOR HIS TEAM MATE

Daniel Ricciardo says improving his tire management is a key challenge for him to get along with teammate Lando Norris.

Ricciardo had a decent weekend in France, starting and finishing ninth and within sight of Norris, who took the flag eight seconds on the road after a long second stint of tire management through the first safety car.

He had back-to-back races with points following his solid recovery from a hampered qualifying in Austria, the first time he had finished in the top 10 in back-to-back races since Italy and Russia last September.

But seventh and ninth were a disappointing comeback for McLaren overall. While Norris and Ricciardo outqualified Alpine rivals Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon respectively, their positions were swapped on Sunday afternoon, with Alonso finishing sixth and Ocon eighth, giving the French team control of fourth in the constructors’ standings. .

Ricciardo said not only the tires were a key difference between McLaren and Alpine in the race, but also rubber management was a major weakness of its relative compared to Norris.

Ricciardo: I’m not done yet | 16:38

“I had a bit of pace at the start of the stint and tried to make the most of it, but then it fell a little too fast,” Ricciardo said. “I really struggled from the middle of the relay and I didn’t have the pace to run with the Alpines and Lando.

“In the first part of the relay I was able to hang on, but in the second part when they are able to stretch their legs, I just miss that extra grip and that extra bit of speed.

“If I do a good lap, I lose a lot on the next lap, so there is still work to be done.

“I don’t feel like I’m progressing with the tyre. I feel like I’m still trying to manage [and] still don’t seem to have the grip they have.

“I felt like I did my best, but that’s not enough to make me happy.

“Double points, but we will keep working.”

PEREZ BECOMES TEAM BOSS IN THE MOTORBOAT SERIES

Sergio Perez has developed a recent history of taking charge in Formula 1, but he is set to turn the tide by becoming team boss in a new racing series.

Perez will lead Team Mexico in the upcoming E1 series of electric racing boats, the latest brainchild of racing mogul Alejandro Agag, who orchestrated the Formula E and Extreme E electric racing series.

Agag was previously manager of the GP2 title-winning team Addax, for which Perez raced in 2010 and finished second, earning him promotion to Formula 1 with Sauber the following season.

FIERY Perez & Russell come and go! | 01:21

“I’m really excited to become a new team owner in E1 and to have a team representing Mexico,” Perez said. “Given my relationship with Alejandro, I have followed what he was doing and his various championships closely, and I think what he has achieved in promoting more sustainable forms of motorsport is commendable.

The E1 series will fly “RaceBird” hydrofoils, which the sport says will reach speeds of 93 kilometers per hour via an outboard electric motor producing 150 kW via a 35 kWh battery.

“I’ve heard a lot of positive stories about the boat and the exciting sporting product that E1 is trying to create for the fans with events in town,” Perez said. “To see a race team fly the Mexican flag on a world stage will be amazing, and I can’t wait to see the RaceBird in action for the first time.”

Team Mexico is the second team to join the series after the Venice Racing Team

The E1 series will depart in 2023, although no date or location has yet been announced.

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