Lewis Hamilton has delayed negotiations on a new contract because he does not feel “comfortable” talking about a lavish new deal while the Covid-19 crisis carries on.
The world champion’s current agreement expires at the end of this season and Mercedes are expected to offer him a staggering £40million a year to extend his stay.
At this point, Hamilton would have been expected to confirm his plans and team-mate Valtteri Bottas yesterday signed up for 2021.
But Hamilton, aiming for his 88th win of his career in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday, has no immediate plans to formally commit himself to Mercedes.
He explained: “Honestly, it does not feel like the right time to sit down (and discuss a contract) when you think of so many people in the world who have lost their jobs.
“It does not feel right when so many people are unemployed to sit and negotiate a big contract.
“It does not seem the most important thing I need to apply time to right this second.”
However, Hamilton, 35, has assured boss Toto Wolff that he WILL be staying with Mercedes.
Hamilton went on: “The fact is I do want to carry on with the team – it’s not a big effort for us to sit down and get it done.
“But right now, I just don’t feel comfortable with it so we will wait a little bit longer.
“I’m not talking to anyone else and I’m looking forward to continuing, particularly as we have just started a new chapter with the team in terms of what we are going to do to be more diverse.”
After his dramatic win in last Sunday’s British Grand Prix, Hamilton is expected to register a more comfortable victory this weekend to put himself closer to a seventh world championship, which would equal Michael Schumacher ’s record.
And with Mercedes likely to remain so dominant for a long time to come, it seems unthinkable Hamilton will not sign a new deal.
He just won’t sign it soon, it seems.
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