Lewis Hamilton contract: Mercedes announcement to come ‘in next few days’ after W12 update
Mercedes could announce Lewis Hamilton’s contract in the next few days according to reports with the Brit having agreed to a one-year deal with the option to extend it by another 12 months.
The 36-year-old is said to be inching closing to finally reaching an agreement with the Silver Arrows with talks having dragged on far longer than expected.
It was thought a resolution would be found soon after the 2020 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on December 13 but nearly two months on, an announcement has yet to be made.
Yet Hamilton is now on the cusp of a new deal which will put him alongside Valtteri Bottas for the fifth straight season at Mercedes.
Motorsport.com say that in the protracted discussions, Hamilton initially wanted a three-season deal, despite contrasting reports that he wanted as long-term an extension as four seasons.
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But the seven-time reigning champion is willing to accept the one-plus-one offer tabled by Mercedes that gives them the option rather than an obligation to continue their partnership into 2022.
It is added that Hamilton has yet to step into Mercedes’ United Kingdom headquarters to get an exclusive look at their W12 car, which will be unveiled March 2.
Hamilton is expected to do so in order to talk through the finer details with the team’s technicians, such as James Allison, and also to virtually get to grips with the new car in the simulator.
The details of Hamilton’s new deal mean technically that the Brackley-based outfit could have a brand new line-up for 2022 given Bottas’ deal also expires at the end of 2021.
George Russell, the Mercedes junior driver racing for Williams, is available at the end of this season when his three-year deal will have ran out.
But as long as Hamilton wants to continue, it’s expected he will be racing in Formula One until the end of 2022, with the 36-year-old still in fine form.
His 2020 world title was his fourth consecutive Drivers’ Championship and his seventh career triumph, taking him level with Ferrari great Michael Schumacher.
“Lewis is a protagonist,” said Domenicali told Sky Sports F1. “Lewis has in front of him an incredible possibility to become the best in terms of numbers. So the challenge there is incredible.
“I’m really looking forward to see him fighting on the track with the way that he’s also now behaving as a man, not only as a driver.”
“I’m waiting for the news for Toto [Wolff] to release [that Hamilton has signed a new contract], and for Lewis to confirm.
“Everyone is waiting for that. That’s the same kind of attitude that I have like all the supporters of Formula One.”
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