Lewis Hamilton offers insight into drawn-out Mercedes contract talks

Sam Cooper
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton at the Spanish Grand Prix. Barcelona, June 2023.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton at the Spanish Grand Prix. Barcelona, June 2023.

Lewis Hamilton said that unless it comes from his mouth, any details of his new Mercedes contract are false.

Hamilton is in the middle of a protracted negotiation with Mercedes with an extension to the seven-time World Champion’s deal originally expected to be announced over the winter break. Instead, Hamilton is seven races into what is currently the final season of his Silver Arrows contract.

There is every anticipation that a new deal will be reached with the W14 showing an upturn in performance in Spain but there are still question marks as to why talks have gone on for so long.

Following his P2 finish in Barcelona, Hamilton said he would speak with Mercedes team principal and CEO Toto Wolff on Monday but no announcement has yet been made about a new deal.

Hamilton however wants to quiet any speculation and said that unless it comes from his mouth, it is false.

“We are working on renewing my contract,” Hamilton told L’Equipe.

“When we are in negotiations, there is always speculation. But I don’t even know where this story comes from.

“As long as you don’t hear it from my mouth, it will only be speculation. And I say again, we are working with Toto to finalise all of this.

“If it’s taking a little longer, it’s because we want to improve things for the future. I’ve been with this team for so long.”

Hamilton has been with Mercedes since 2013 and is currently the second best paid driver on the grid, fetching a salary of $55 million per season according to Fobres. Max Verstappen’s base salary is lower at $40 million a year but Red Bull offered $20 million in bonuses to make the Dutchman the best paid driver in the sport.

Previous claims of Hamilton wanting an ambassadorial role included in his new deal were swiftly rubbish by Mercedes with no clear reason given as to why a new deal has taken so long.

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Wolff, who has had to negotiate contracts with Hamilton five times previously, said it was a matter of getting face-to-face over coffee and having a meeting that would last all of 30 minutes.

“I think we just need to get time to sit over coffee,” Wolff told his former driver Nico Rosberg on Sky Sports F1. “That’s going to take half an hour.”

Hamilton is currently one of six drivers whose contract is set to expire at the end of the season alongside Kevin Magnussen, Zhou Guanyu, Nico Hülkenberg, Yuki Tsunoda and Logan Sargeant.