Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton has shot off a warning to his McLaren team saying “I am not young anymore and I want to win races”.
With only one race win this season, in Montreal, Hamilton is fourth in the driver’s standings, his title challenge fading away due to poor team tactics, an uncompetitive car and unreliable tires.
In an interview with R-Sport in Moscow, Hamilton said it would take a lot to wrench him away from the team that brought him into the sport, but things need to change.
“To be honest, you have to base your decisions on much, much longer than such a short period of time,” the 27-year-old said.
“Only half a year cannot decide six years of partnership, or actually 13 years of partnership. I have been with them since I was 13, so it’s 14 years, so it’s much more than these small details, it’s a much, much bigger picture.”
The sport takes a month-long vacation in August after the Spa Grand Prix in Belgium, an ideal time to decide a future path, said Hamilton, who has been linked with a move to Lotus.
“We haven’t sat down and discussed anything yet but I’m sure over the summer break, when we have the summer break it would be nice to get something in place.”
“That would be a time when we can be more relaxed and make the most sensible decision for the future.”
Asked how he might arrive at his decision, Hamilton answered: “There are lots of things to take into account. These people have supported me; these are the people that got me into Formula One.”
Then he changed tone.
“But, you know, I want to win. I’m not that young any more so I want to make sure that whatever I do I make the right decision so I can maximize my career, you know. I just need to make sure that I’m winning.”
“That’s what I exist for, that’s what I train and work for every day.”
He insisted, however, there was still the potential for glory with McLaren, despite his checkered season so far that included a tenth place at his home Grand Prix at Silverstone last week.
“I’ve been ready all year to win. We should have won a lot more races than we have, but there’s many more races to go. We still have a lot more chances to get some wins and I think it’s possible.”
Hamilton was here to participate in the Moscow City Racing F1 promotion event, said the team had been slow to evolve in terms of car tweaks, but said McLaren can turn a corner at next week’s German Grand Prix.
“Up until now we’ve not developed as fast as other people. Other people have brought some more upgrades in the past than we have, but we have a big upgrade coming for the next race, so let’s hope that it does the job and gets us in a fighting position.”