Lewis Hamilton has said he is closing in on agreeing a new Mercedes contract, which is in line with comments from his former team-mate Fernando Alonso on the matter.
Hamilton, ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, moved to put an end to speculation that he could make a big-money move to Ferrari as his current Mercedes deal ticks towards its end come the close of 2023.
The Brit would suggest that “naturally in contract negotiations, there’s always going to be speculation”, though confirmed that an agreement which would see him extend his stay with the Mercedes team beyond this season is “almost there”.
Hamilton has always been a driver who promotes the team identity, whether it is a positive or negative situation, the latter more common in recent times, and that is why Alonso believed that staying with Mercedes is therefore how Hamilton can stay true to his word.
When asked about Hamilton’s Mercedes contract situation ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, Alonso told media personnel: “He always said he wins and loses together with the team.
“So if he is not winning, he should stay.”
Another driver who Hamilton is very familiar with was also asked to weigh in on his Mercedes future, that being Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who alongside Hamilton delivered one of the all-time great F1 titles battles in 2021.
Verstappen though, when asked where he thinks Hamilton would be driving next year if he were a “betting man”, responded that he is not, and also has little interest in what Hamilton choses to do.
He did though joke that all this speculation should help Hamilton to get a heftier pay cheque out of Mercedes.
“I’m not betting, I’m also not interested, it’s not my problem,” he told reporters.
“I think he feels really happy at Mercedes, they’ve won a lot together and maybe it’s good because it ups the price a bit at Mercedes’ side as well to pay him, so it’s good!”
Mercedes’ upgraded W14 will hit the track for the first time at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, with the streets of Monte Carlo serving as Hamilton’s best shot yet in F1 2023 to return to winning ways, having been absent from the top step of the podium since the 2021 Saudi Arabian GP.
Verstappen meanwhile will look to extend his Championship lead over Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, currently standing at 14 points with Verstappen having taken three wins from the opening five races.