Formula 1 record world champion Lewis Hamilton (38) has rejected rumors about a possible departure from Mercedes.

“I have a great relationship with Toto (Wolff, team boss) and Mercedes, and we support each other. I’m really looking forward to our future together,” said the Englishman before the season opener on Sunday (4 p.m. CET / Sky) in Bahrain. Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes expires at the end of the year. However, both sides have made it clear several times that they want to continue working together.

Recently, however, the former English Formula 1 world champions Damon Hill and Jenson Button had doubted that Hamilton would stay with Mercedes if the team offered him a car that could not compete for the title, as it did last year.

Hamilton: “I’m a fighter”

“Even though we had a difficult year last year, I’m still here and whether we have a difficult year this year or not, I’ll still be here. I’m a fighter and we’re fighting as a team.” , emphasized Hamilton, who switched to the Mercedes factory team in 2013 as the successor to Michael Schumacher.

There is “no delay on our contract. I’ve always been very, very relaxed. I don’t feel like I have to do it right now. I’m in a very fortunate position. It will be done when we are ready.” , stressed the seven-time world champion.

Hamilton does not think about ending his career. “I love the challenge of finding solutions. I still believe that I’m able to take the car to places that others might not be able to take it to,” said the second-oldest driver after Fernando Alonso (41). Field.