MONZA, Italy — Lewis Hamilton said “unfinished business” was his main motivation for signing a new two-year contract to remain with Mercedes in Formula One as he targets his elusive eighth world title.

Hamilton, who has been at Mercedes since 2013, has won six of his seven world titles with the team and narrowly missed out on an unprecedented eighth when he was controversially beaten to the 2021 crown by current champion Max Verstappen.

“You’re all stuck with me for a little bit longer,” Hamilton told media during a press conference at the Italian Grand Prix on Thursday. “Honestly, I couldn’t be happier to be extending with this team.

“Mercedes have supported me since I was 13 years old, so such a long trip, and we still have unfinished business. We are in this together.

“We have a lot of work to do to get ourselves back to the front, but there is no place I would rather be.”

Mercedes has been unable to offer Hamilton a winning car since F1 overhauled the sport’s technical regulations in 2022, while 2021 rivals Verstappen and Red Bull have gone on to dominate the sport.

As a result, Hamilton has not been able to avenge his defeat in 2021 when he lost the championship on the final lap of the final race due to a controversial decision by then race director Michael Masi.

But Hamilton insists the events of Abu Dhabi 2021 were not a factor in his decision to extend his contract.

“On the 2021 thing, I’m not really a revenge person and it’s not about revenge,” Hamilton said. “It’s not about redemption. That’s in the past and there is nothing you can do about the past.

“What we can do is work harder, be more precise and be better moving forwards. I truly believe with this team we can win more championships together and more races. That’s where all my energy is coming from.”

Hamilton, who at 38 is the second oldest driver on the grid behind Fernando Alonso, will continue to race into his early 40s under his new contract. As a young driver, Hamilton said he never dreamt of extending his career as long as he has, but he has recently taken inspiration from NFL star Tom Brady, who retired this year at the age of 45.

“I look at people like Tom Brady, who is such an incredible athlete and has shown what can be done today, so he’s the real role model in that respect for all athletes to look at,” Hamilton added. “I’m really, really fortunate to speak to him to understand as well what he’s done and what he does consistently to keep himself in shape and he has expressed it in the media anyway.

“Of course, it’s great to see Fernando. He was here way before I was and took that retirement and came back, and is doing an amazing job. It just shows that that talent never really leaves you as long as you have that passion and that commitment, you can continue.”

Hamilton, who has occasionally talked about racing for another five years in recent interviews, did not rule out a contract beyond his new one if he is unable to achieve his goals in the next two years.

“I’m not working towards next year thinking it will take another four years to get where we need to be, but I’m aware that it does take time,” he said. “In my heart, I’m so hopeful that the decisions we are taking and the direction that we are rowing towards will put us in that target zone to fight the Red Bulls and be close, and be challenging for pole.

“But if it’s not next year, we will continue to work through it. But my heart truly believes even if it is not next year or the year after, we will be there.”

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