Lewis Hamilton is set to request a $50 million-a-year contract with Mercedes when negotiations resume in the coming weeks, it has been reported.
With the talks put on hold during F1’s hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Daily Mail is reporting that Hamilton is seeking a $5 million improvement on his soon-to-expire $45m-a-year contract once the sport returns to racing this weekend in Austria.
Currently one of the two highest-paid drivers in Formula 1, the Briton is almost guaranteed to become the sport’s highest-earner regardless of whether he attains a wage increase or not, as his closest financial competitor Sebastian Vettel has been unable to agree his own terms on extending his current €40m ($45,022,000) per-year contract with Ferrari.
Additionally, with Ferrari’s move to replace Vettel with Spaniard Carlos Sainz, Hamilton cannot use the bargaining chip of his long-rumoured courtship by the Scuderia to drive up his price, although it is expected the Silver Arrows are still willing to negotiate a wage increase of some amount for their star driver.
As to the matter of the length of the new contract, no duration has been specified, although the 35-year-old Hamilton has given no indication he intends to slow down any time soon.
However, the same can not necessarily be said for Hamilton’s boss, Toto Wolff, with the Mail speculating the Austrian could soon transition to a “more removed chairman-like role” at the Brackley-based team.