Mercedes react to Lewis Hamilton contract extension speculation as talks stall
Mercedes have responded to speculation over the future of Lewis Hamilton.
Although the seven-time Formula One world champion was expected to agree an extension with the manufacturer shortly after he matched Michael Schumacher’s title record, he is currently a free agent.
Hamilton finds himself in that unusual position after his £40million-a-season deal came to and end on December 31st, with the 2021 campaign set to get underway in Bahrain on March 28.
After it was reported that wages were a stumbling block for the two parties, Mercedes have refused to offer a comment when asked about the delay in the new agreement.
As quoted by Formula1News, they said that they “don’t comment on speculation and rumours” despite there being “a lot of them about right now”.
Hamilton is believed to be requesting a three-year deal worth a total of £120m, while Mercedes are reportedly reluctant to offer more than one season on those terms.
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff and Hamilton’s father Anthony have both given their thoughts in recent weeks, with Wolff stating that there is no reason a new contract will be agreed.
Wolff said "We have had such a successful run of championships for the past seven years, there is no reason why not to continue.
"He is on the top of his game and he will be for a while, so that is why continuing together is a no-brainer.
"We always prioritised the championship and not being distracted by sometimes difficult discussions, as is the nature of negotiation, and then Covid struck with Lewis so it has delayed us a bit, but we are not worried in eventually getting it done.
"We are not putting a special date on it. Sooner or later it needs to be done and the latest is when we go testing (in March)."
With Anthony saying when asked what his son’s plans are for the future: “As far as I’m aware, he carries on racing. He loves racing, he loves what he does.
“He has a voice now in the sport, which is also fantastic, but as far as I’m aware he’s carrying on racing.
“It’s a definite, as far as I know, the last time I spoke to him yesterday, he’s definitely carrying on racing.”
Before adding: “He’s not racing for trophies, he races because he loves what he does and also he loves to inspire others. At the moment his achievements, we hope, are inspiring young kids who have a dreams they want to achieve.”
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