As the world wakes up to the year 2021, Lewis Hamilton remains the only F1 driver left to confirm his contract for the next season. It looks like things are not going so smoothly between the seven-time world champion and the team’s part-owners, Daimler.
Earlier in November 2020, when F1 was in Turkey, Lewis won his seventh title. Subsequently, the Briton allegedly put forward his demand on the table and kick-started his negotiations with Mercedes for 2021.
According to Marca, as reported by Corriere, the deal suggested that Lewis wanted a four-year deal, with a salary of a whopping $50M a year. Well, turns out, Daimler weren’t really satisfied with Lewis’s massive demands, as they eventually rejected his offer.
“In November, when Formula 1 went to Turkey, a contract that meets Hamilton’s requirements was ready. A four-year contract with a salary of 50 million a year. However, Daimler put an end to that,” the Italian paper said, according to Marca.
As of now, the talks are still going on, and the two parties are yet to arrive on middle ground.
Daimler’s demands are a bit far off from Lewis’, as the automotive manufacturers are monitoring Lewis’ age, who will turn 36 this month. Hence, Daimler are reportedly looking to provide the British racer with a two-year deal, with an extension of up to three years.
As a result, the Mercedes’ part owners are probably looking to give up on Lewis by as early as 2022, and move on to a younger driver. A much cheaper George Russell is waiting outside the door leading into the team. Hence, Mercedes have a decent back-up if the talks fail.
As of now, Daimler are the only owners opposing Lewis’ demands; it is still unknown if Toto Wolff and INEOS are against them as well.
Hence, it looks like the three owners will negotiate together and provide Lewis with an offer. The Italian media also mentioned that the deadline regarding Lewis’s contract extension has been moved to the end of February.
“It remains to be seen what the results of the talks will be. Now, however, a third party has a stake in the matter: Ineos.
“The new deadline for the contract extension is now at the end of February, just before the start of the tests. Winter in Barcelona (March 2-4),” the media said.
Looking at how things are going at Mercedes, the final decision could go either way; however, Lewis Hamilton will definitely remain the probable candidate for the number 1 seat.
Any dissatisfaction in the negotiation will definitely lead the seven-time world champion into the wild.
Which path is Lewis’s future going to follow? Only time will tell.