February 22, 2024

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Lewis Hamilton has until preseason testing to sign new Mercedes deal

Mercedes group principal Toto Wolff has no question Lewis Hamilton will indicator a contract extension maintaining him at Formulation Just one champions Mercedes, saying the two events had until the start off of testing future year to get the offer performed.

The 35-year-outdated Hamilton, who wrapped up a report-equalling seventh world championship title this period and turned the most profitable driver in F1 history, is out of contract at the close of this year.

Issues about a contract extension have dogged Wolff and Hamilton all period, with the Mercedes seat the only one particular on the F1 grid nevertheless to be formally loaded.

“If you refer to why have not we bought a signed contract, the explanation is easy — we often prioritized about receiving this championship performed and not becoming distracted by often hard conversations…” Wolff, who led Mercedes to a report seventh straight title double this year, reported on Friday.

“But then COVID struck. It has delayed us a little little bit but we are not concerned in eventually receiving it performed. Faster or later it needs to be performed, the most up-to-date ahead of we go testing.”

Wolff was speaking following Mercedes earlier on Friday introduced programs for petrochemical giant Ineos to get one particular-3rd of its Formulation Just one group, sharing equivalent possession with mum or dad organization Daimler AG and the Austrian.

As part of the offer, it was introduced the 48-year-outdated Wolff, who has also confronted questions about his future, will stay on in his purpose as main government and group principal for a further three a long time.

Hamilton, who enjoys a shut rapport with Wolff, hailed the progress and reported he would open up talks with him in excess of the future couple times.

The Briton, who earns an believed forty million pounds ($54.02 million) a year, had planned to step up talks relating to his new offer in excess of F1’s Center Jap triple header, but analyzed positive for COVID-19 and was pressured to pass up a race.

“We have not commenced a conversation,” Hamilton, who returned for the Abu Dhabi period finale final Sunday, reported in a digital media conference ahead of the governing FIA’s once-a-year prize offering ceremony. “Toto and I program to do that in excess of the coming times.”

F1 testing is set to take location at the beginning of March future year, with the period-opening Australian Grand Prix scheduled for later the similar month.