Lewis Hamilton has been given a hard dose of reality by Haas boss Guenther Steiner, who believes that the Brit will have no other choice than to finish his career at Mercedes. Doing so may diminish his chances of winning an eighth F1 world title, but Steiner claims that going to Red Bull or Ferrari this late in his career would be unlikely to work out.
Hamilton has been with Mercedes since 2013. Led by team principal Toto Wolff, the Silver Arrows went on an unprecedented streak of F1 team dominance, resulting in eight consecutive Constructors’ Championships.
Red Bull are now back on top, and Max Verstappen’s relentless performances mean that Hamilton has not won a Grand Prix since 2021. There has been talk of the seven-time world champion moving on to pastures new in an attempt to boost his chances of clinching title number eight, which would make him the standalone leader in the all-time charts.
Hamilton’s contract expires at the end of the season, and Mercedes are still significantly behind Red Bull. Eddie Jordan is among those to have urged the 38-year-old to join Ferrari, but the Prancing Horse are arguably in an even worse position than Mercedes.
Lewis Hamilton is set to be out of contract with Mercedes at the end of the season
With little chance of Hamilton joining bitter rivals Red Bull, Steiner has given his take on the current climate which, to him, suggests that the veteran practically has no other choice than to stick around and hope things improve at the Silver Arrows.
“Lewis will stay at Mercedes until the end of his career,” he told the PA news agency. “What other opportunities are out there for him? Think about that one. What other options are around? I don’t think he has many.
“He is at a stage where he is so close [to the end of his career] that doing anything different and getting used to something else would not be very positive for him. He is not happy this year because he hasn’t won a race. But he has had a lot of good years with Mercedes so he needs to stick with the people who made him.”
Speculation has swirled on whether Hamilton will stay at Mercedes over the past few months as the Stevenage-born star stalls over his new contract. Wolff has routinely had to go on the defensive, and he raised eyebrows last year by suggesting that Hamilton may have another five years in the tank.
Guenther Steiner believes that Lewis Hamilton’s F1 options are limited
“The advantage is we speak a lot together,” he told Channel 4 F1. “Just last week we sat down and he said, ‘Look, I have another five years in me, how do you see that?’ Over time we have just grown together. We are totally transparent with each other.
“I have no doubt that whatever we agree on a contract extension, which is going to happen, that we both are always going to discuss, very openly, what does the future hold.”