Ross Brawn says Formula 1 wants Lewis Hamilton to remain in the sport both from a sporting perspective but also his influence off the track too, amid ongoing contract renewal talks between the world champion and Mercedes.
Hamilton’s previous Mercedes deal expired at the end of 2020 and a new one has yet to be confirmed. While Brawn is confident Hamilton will be on the grid in 2021, F1’s managing director of motor sports says it’s not just his racing ability that makes him such an important asset to the sport.
“It’s up to Mercedes and Lewis to find their solution, but it would be a great shame for Lewis (to stop),” Brawn told RACER. “I don’t imagine for a moment that it’s going to happen. I think Lewis loves the sport too much, Mercedes like Lewis too much. There’s a bit of jousting going on, clearly, between Toto and Lewis, and that’s all part of the entertainment!
“But we want Lewis to continue. He’s a huge figure in the sport. He’s made people think – particularly this past year – on a number of issues which are associated with the sport but are perhaps not the focus of what we normally do, but things that are very important and have made people think and consider their approaches and attitudes. That’s been invaluable.
“He is an influential character, he’s good for our sport and probably one of the few megastars that we have in Formula 1 today. So for all sorts of reasons we want him to continue and I want him to continue. He’s got a record to break as well and I think driving for Mercedes is his best chance of doing it.”
Assuming he signs a new deal, Hamilton goes in search of an eighth drivers’ championship this season. He currently sits level with Michael Schumacher as joint all-time leaders with seven, having overtaken the legendary German’s all-time wins records last year.