Lewis Hamilton says he intends to lock-down his next Mercedes contract in the coming days, with a stated goal of “before Christmas”.
Now officially out-of-contract with the team that has helped him win six of the past seven Formula 1 driver’s championships, renewal talks have repeatedly been delayed by circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, including Hamilton’s own case in the past fortnight.
However with the 2020 F1 season officially concluded, the Briton says the focus is now fully on getting the deal done.
“We would love to get it done before Christmas,” he told reporters after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.”I plan to be here next year, I want to be here next year.
“Us as a team have more to do together, more to achieve in the sport, more outside the sport.
“So I hope we can begin, this week, discussions and get it tied up before Christmas.”
With Mercedes already placing his name on their entry list for 2021, it certainly seems like a deal is nearing, with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff indicating it was just a matter of having the time for a discussion.
“We will have this conversation,” he said. “We were delayed, we always said that we will do it after the title was won and then the virus delayed us for another 10 days, two weeks.
“And now we just have to sit down, maybe virtually maybe live.”
Reportedly on £35 million a year under his just-concluded deal, it is believed Hamilton is seeking a raise to £40m per year, further extending his lead as the highest-paid driver in the sport.