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Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff

The braking point: What is going on with Lewis Hamilton?

Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff

Lewis Hamilton and his contract situation have garnered plenty of column inches in the past week, with conflicting reports painting a rather confusing picture.

Given his status as the biggest star in the sport and the fact that his Mercedes seat is currently vacant, speculation is to be expected, but even for the silly-season, it appears to have got a little bit out of hand.

George Russell’s performance at the Sakhir Grand Prix has obviously changed the parameters within which the seven-time F1 world champion is negotiating and that is entirely understandable. Russell looks to be a top-level talent and Mercedes will almost certainly want to see him promoted within the next few seasons.

However, to suggest that he is the major factor holding up talks at this point is not based on truth. Up until this point, both parties have expressed a clear interest in continuing the partnership, and I have been genuinely surprised at some of the reporting surrounding this so-called saga.

If Hamilton is being unreasonable with his demands then Mercedes have every right to hold out for a contract that they deem fair, while as a seven-time champion, the race win and pole position record holder and a long-time servant to the brand, Hamilton is within his rights to make certain demands. The fact is, these are private negotiations and no one really knows what is going on.

As far as I am concerned, waiting for further concrete information before making a judgement is the best way forward in this situation. The speculation serves nothing but to populate websites with little else to report, while some of the things being written about Hamilton, Toto Wolff, INEOS, Mercedes, George Russell and Daimler are simply unfounded.

Whether Hamilton signs the deal or not, Mercedes are in a strong position moving forward and will surely be doing everything they can to ensure they have a driver line-up capable of winning a further drivers’ and constructors’ title.

Where they stand on the contract and negotiations are unknown at this point and until they become clear, I am happy to wait.

Instead, why not focus for now on the 19 drivers that have a deal for 2021 and the exciting moves we have seen already. That’s what we will be doing this month and beyond; when Lewis inks the new deal we will be the first to let you know.