Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has provided an update on Lewis Hamilton’s F1 contract negotiations, revealing the delay in signing an extension is not related to finances or the length of the deal.
Hamilton has entered the last six months of his current contract, having first joined Mercedes from McLaren back in 2013.
The 38-year-old won six World Championships in seven years after the introduction of F1’s V6 hybrid rules in 2014, equalling Michael Schumacher’s record of seven titles in 2020 before becoming the first driver in history to surpass 100 pole positions and grand prix victories the following season.
Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes contract talks into fine details
Having been briefly linked to a big-money move to Ferrari earlier this year, Hamilton – without a win since the penultimate race of 2021 -signalled his intention to continue with Mercedes in 2024 and beyond.
Hamilton insisted during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend at the end of May that his new contract was “almost there”, with Wolff indicating at last month’s Canadian GP that the deal would be completed within days.
However, the contract remains unsigned ahead of Hamilton’s home race at Silverstone this weekend with Wolff adamant that an announcement will not be made ahead of the British GP.
Speaking at the Red Bull Ring following Sunday’s Austrian GP, where Hamilton finished a disappointing eighth after incurring multiple penalties for exceeding track limits, Wolff says he remains confident that his driver will ink a new deal despite the protracted length of the negotiations.
According to Sky Sports F1, he said: “I’m still very confident.
“They want to do it super, to every detail and sometimes you can have a situation where everything is carved out.
“This is not a money discussion at all. It is about the future, what is it that we want to do right and optimise?
“We’re not talking anything anymore about duration, money, all of that, it’s other topics.”
Wolff was vague when pressed on the precise length of Hamilton’s new arrangement, responding: “For a while. The Brits say a couple means two, and the Americans say a couple means a few, so it is somewhere there.”
Hamilton has a long-standing relationship with Mercedes, with the German manufacturer building the engines for every one of his 319 grand prix starts since he made his F1 debut with McLaren in 2007.
With Hamilton and Mercedes join-founders of the Ignite charity in 2021, it has been suggested that the 38-year-old may seek an arrangement that allows him to transition into an ambassadorial-style role when his driving career concludes.