Lewis Hamilton ‘arguing’ with Mercedes chiefs as ‘curveballs’ thrown at lawyers

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has admitted there have been arguments with Lewis Hamilton over the world champion’s new contract.

Hamilton’s last deal expired on December 31 with the Brit and his team yet to agree terms on a new one.

There are just weeks to go before the new Formula One season, though Wolff has insisted talks are progressing with the 36-year-old.

But it hasn’t all been plain sailing, with reports suggesting Hamilton is keen on a three-year deal worth up to £120m.

And Wolff admits there have been differences of opinion between Mercedes and the seven-time world champion.

The team boss said: "The lawyers are working hard. We don't make life easy for them, of course, when we both argue over Zoom and keep sending curveballs to the lawyers.

"But he's in America now and I'm here in Austria. At some point we will finalise it. It's how it is with negotiations.

"You always come from different corners, but that's quite normal.

  • Lewis Hamilton 'could still walk away' from Mercedes as £120m contract saga drags on

"We have a really solid basis in our relationship. We have celebrated great successes together and want to continue doing so in the future.

"But sometimes you have to talk things out in detail, and that took or still takes us some time. But before Bahrain at the latest, you have to sign something at some point."

The new season begins in Bahrain on March 28 with George Russell waiting in the wings should Hamilton not sign a new deal.

  • Lewis Hamilton warned Mercedes will promote George Russell unless 'realistic' talks open

Wolff added: "We never played the George Russell card. He did incredibly well and will one day be in a top car, but our long-standing partnership is not at all about making any threatening gestures.

"We know we want to race together. And now we have to negotiate the contract."

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