With a sixth world championship in the bag, Lewis Hamilton will see his market value skyrocket. To that end, Red Bull advisor, Dr Helmut Marko believes that the Mercedes driver may soon become quite an expensive asset in the F1 driver market.
With Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen renewing their respective contracts, all eyes were on the Mercedes scene. However, initial reports suggested that the reigning world champion turned down a new two-year deal for 2021 and 2022.
Had he accepted, he would be pocketing as much as $50m per season. Interestingly, the reports said that Hamilton is gunning for $66 million a year, which Mercedes may not agree to.
When he spoke to Auto Bild, Marko weighed in on the Hamilton-Mercedes contract saga. He noted that, as a six-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton is a highly important figure for Mercedes from a sporting and marketing point of view.
“I think he is aware of his value which is where he comes up with such numbers. But I believe that no team, not even Mercedes, will be willing to spend such sums on a driver. Maybe Ferrari,” Marko added.
If not Mercedes, where will Lewis Hamilton go?
To be perfectly honest, Mercedes may not have a choice but to accept Hamilton’s terms. The German giants are arguably one of the few teams who can afford Hamilton. There may also be a chance that he will pen a 1-year deal with Mercedes and equal Michael Schumacher’s record.
From there, he could jump ship to Ferrari and try and beat the 7-time world champion’s record in the very same team. It would be extremely poetic, but a certain Charles Leclerc may not be too thrilled if Hamilton did don the scarlet overalls. Whatever the case, the 2021 driver market will be very intriguing, especially with how all the puzzle pieces fall into place.