The failure of Mercedes to tie down either Lewis Hamilton or Valtteri Bottas to a long-term deal has been well-documented in the media. Hamilton was supposedly demanding a pay hike or a lesser period of commitment.
But all is seemingly about to change next week. Reports state that Mercedes have convinced Hamilton to sign on the dotted line and could be announced as early as next weekend, on the eve of the returning French Grand Prix at Circuit Paul Ricard.
Mercedes chairman, Niki Lauda said, “It is all about common ground. The lawyers are sending the documents back and forth. It takes a lot of time. But we are in no hurry.”
The Austrian could not resist making a cheeky analogy too. “If you know that you want to marry, the wedding date does not matter”, Lauda commented.
The deal had long been awaited though the details are unclear so far. The speculation on Lewis Hamilton’s future was raging with David Coulthard even stating that he could be quitting F1 to build a music career.
But Mercedes have been adamant about taking their time and the decision seems to have paid off. Lewis Hamilton has been Mercedes’ most successful driver, taking 3 drivers’ championships whilst driving for the team.
The hybrid era brought a lot of success to the German team, with them winning all constructors’ titles as well since 2014. Tying Hamilton down was their best bet as he is still among the fastest drivers on the grid despite fierce competition cropping up over the years.
Mercedes were clearly focusing on finishing up a deal for their lead driver. Since that is seemingly done and dusted, they are turning their sights to his teammate, Valtteri Bottas and want to secure their driver line-up for the 2019 season by convincing the Finn to sign a new deal too.