Lewis Hamilton hints at contract progress as Max Verstappen criticism continues – F1 news round-up

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton smiles at fans when he arrives at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Lewis Hamilton smiles at fans.

It was media day at Silverstone and PlanetF1.com was on the ground to get the biggest F1 news to break ahead of the British Grand Prix.

Brad Pitt arrived on the scene in Northamptonshire but the stars of the show were in the paddock to take questions from the media, reacting to the 2024 F1 calendar dropping and the track limits debate raged on.

Let’s take a look at the big stories from around Silverstone, then.

Additional reporting from Thomas Maher and Sam Cooper

Lewis Hamilton confirms Toto Wolff contract detail

Talks remain ongoing between Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes as they look to agree his stay with the team beyond the end of the year.

When asked if Toto Wolff’s claim that he and the team were no longer discussing salary and contract duration, Hamilton confirmed to media including PlanetF1.com that this was correct, and the remaining negotiations were around other areas of the deal.

Hamilton has said all along it is more than a “simple driving contract”, and he still has “100% faith” in Mercedes that they will get back on top of the sport once again.

Read more: Lewis Hamilton confirms truth of key part of Mercedes negotiations as talks continue

24 races are too many for Max Verstappen

With a record-breaking 24-race calendar having been announced for the 2024 season, that was a big topic of conversation among the paddock on Thursday.

Max Verstappen has been saying for a while that he feels the calendar is over-inflated, and that remains the case as the reigning World Champion voiced his concerns about the 10-month behemoth of a schedule put together for next year.

“It’s too many for me at least,” he told media including PlanetF1.com. “We just have to deal with it.

“I think it’s a bit more logical the way it’s planned at least so I guess that’s better for everyone.”

Read more: Max Verstappen names main concern over F1 2024 calendar

George Russell jokes Max Verstappen retirement threat ‘just a tactic’

Verstappen has hinted before that things like there being too many races on the calendar is one of the reasons why he may not take his Formula 1 career beyond the end of his current contract with Red Bull, that ends in 2028.

But George Russell is slightly sceptical about that reasoning behind Verstappen’s claims that he may leave the sport at a time many would perceive to be prematurely…

“I think he’s whinging because he wants more money!” Russell said with a smile.

“He’s the highest-paid on this grid and rightly so for what he’s achieving, but even so, I think it’s all a big tactic of his, that threat of retirement.”

Read more: George Russell jokes Max Verstappen retirement threat ‘whinging to get more money’

Yuki Tsunoda chats to PlanetF1.com about his future

PlanetF1.com spoke exclusively to Yuki Tsunoda in the paddock at Silverstone and the AlphaTauri driver revealed that contract talks over extending his stay with the team are progressing well.

Helmut Marko has been notably happier with the young Japanese driver this year after he has stepped up his game in his third season in Formula 1, and a potential contract extension may be on the cards as a result.

“I was speaking a little bit with Helmut and he’s happy with my performance which is the most important thing,” Tsunoda said.

“So let’s see how the contract goes.”

Read more: Exclusive: Yuki Tsunoda reveals Helmut Marko talks as he fights for F1 future

Haas 2024 line-up announcement may be around the corner

On the subject of driver line-ups, no team had more focus on them in ‘silly season’ last time around than Haas – with Mick Schumacher fighting to the last to keep his seat.

This ultimately ended in vain as Nico Hulkenberg was given the drive for 2023, but with Guenther Steiner impressed with his experienced line-up this time around, he is keen to avoid a repeat of the drawn-out drama of last year.

“I hope before the summer break, I think we can make the decision,” Steiner told media including PlanetF1.com at Silverstone.

“You know, we need to obviously do it and we will get our drivers confirmed soon as possible.

“I mean, as I said before, I mean, it’s nothing new for you guys. I’m pretty happy with our driver lineup now.”

Read more: Guenther Steiner hints at imminent Haas 2024 line-up announcement