“In a few weeks,” the contract renewal of Lewis Hamilton should be fixed at Mercedes, estimates Mercedes Motorsport Director Toto Wolff. The contract between the World Champion and the Silver Arrows expires at the end of the season, talks on an extension confirm both sides.
Hamilton emphasizes that he would like to continue at Mercedes and possibly also want to end his career there. There is no interest in the competition, the Briton shows faithful and speaks only of “details” that could delay an extension. Nevertheless, everything around the start of the season in about two weeks in Australia should be in the towel.
“Toto knows I’m not going anywhere else, there’s no better team,” Hamilton says. The 33-year-old four-time world champion only has eyes for the silver star. “So he’s not going to look elsewhere, and neither do I. We’re both confident and committed.” From Wolff similar sounds come, the Austrian is just as optimistic. “A few weeks are a realistic goal,” said the Viennese at the Mercedes presentation.
The mood between the team and the world champion seems to be better than ever. Wolff speaks of the “best driver of our time”, Hamilton is a “figurehead” of Mercedes. The Briton praised his team, with whom he won three of his four world titles, as well. After five years together, the signs are clear for further cooperation.
“Not even talked to another team in six years”
Hamilton adds what an extension has failed so far: “Toto and I have talked about it for a while, but I was not there in December, but I do not like talking on the phone until February, when I was back We often talked to each other, and the main thing was that we felt very committed to each other. ”
So far, the Briton signed twice a Mercedes contract for three years, an unusually long contract period in Formula 1 Last, he negotiated in 2015 in Monaco even his most lucrative deal on rumored 30 million euros annual salary. As was the case three years ago, Hamilton is now back in the detailed negotiations as defending champion, which manages him again in a good starting position.
“It’s all about the details now, hopefully we’ll finish it before the season starts, but we’re under no pressure, there’s no reason to act prematurely, I’m not under pressure from other drivers, and Mercedes does not have to worry make that I could talk to other teams. ”
“Never talked to another team”
Already after the last race of the 2017 season, the official starting signal for the negotiations was given. Already after the race in Abu Dhabi Wolff made clear that Mercedes’ first choice falls on Hamilton – and vice versa. “In all the six years I’ve been at Mercedes, I’ve never even talked to another team,” the World Champion emphasizes.
He does not fear competition from other top pilots: “I know that the team has been contacted by other pilots in the past, maybe even now, and that’s unavoidable.” The question is not whether, but when a new contract between Hamilton and Mercedes is. It could be his last in Formula 1.