Lewis Hamilton's bombshell Mercedes hint amid F1 retirement talk

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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Lewis Hamilton (pictured) celebrating after finishing second at the French GP.
Lewis Hamilton (pictured) has hinted he might stay at Mercedes beyond 2022 after enjoying his time with the team. (Getty Images)

F1 icon Lewis Hamilton has hinted that he could be willing to stick around for another season with Mercedes after finishing third at the French Grand Prix.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen capitalised on Charles Leclerc's costly "mistake" to claim victory in the race and take a huge stride towards a second consecutive F1 world title.

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Seven-times world champion Hamilton finished second for Mercedes in his 300th grand prix, with teammate George Russell third to secure their first podium double of the campaign.

While Leclerc would saw his title challenge slip further away, Hamilton was thrilled with another podium finish in a rather difficult year.

And with Mercedes' best performance of the year coming in France, Hamilton hinted that he could be willing to stay on for another year after enjoying his time 'more than ever'.

“I still feel fresh and there is plenty of fuel in the tank,” he said, post-race.

“I am enjoying the process and arriving everyday and working with this group of people and I am enjoying working with this sport.

"There are some great people in this sport and I am enjoying my time more than ever.”

F1 world stunned over Charles Leclerc crash

While Hamilton's resurgence was a great sign for Mercedes, it was the incident involving Leclerc at the halfway stage of the race that left the Ferrari ace screaming out in anguish, leaving fans and commentators in a state of disbelief.

Leclerc had led from pole and looked on course for victory until he spun out and slammed into a tyre barrier at the 11th corner.

The Monegasque driver let out a guttural scream of despair after seeing his hopes go up in smoke.

Max Verstappen (pictured middle right) celebrates after winning the French GP with Lewis Hamilton (pictured left) finishing second and George Russell (pictured right) in third.
Max Verstappen (pictured middle right) won the French GP with Lewis Hamilton (pictured left) finishing second and George Russell (pictured right) in third. (Photo by Hasan Bratic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Leclerc initially blamed an issue with his throttle but took full responsibility for the mistake after the race.

"I think I am performing at my highest level in my career, but if I keep doing those mistakes then it's pointless to perform at a very high level. I'm losing too many points," he said.

"If we lose the championship by 32 points at the end of the season I will know where they are coming from," he added, referring also to his crash at Imola.

"It's unacceptable. I just need to get on top of those things."

Red Bull's Sergio Perez finished fourth, losing out to Russell three laps from the end and complaining over the radio that the Briton had repeatedly gone off.

Carlos Sainz was fifth for Ferrari after starting on the back row due to engine penalties and storming back through the field with a bonus point for fastest lap.

with AAP

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