Hamilton and Mercedes have been locked in talks all year to extend their partnership, which is due to expire at the end of the 2023 F1 season.

Despite assurances that a deal is a formality, Hamilton has still not put pen to paper on a new contract.

Ex-F1 driver Coulthard was quoted by the Irish News: “Mercedes will want a certain amount of time from Lewis for their partners. 

“Mercedes will have sold sponsorship on obtaining access to their drivers.

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“Some businesses will have signed up with the Silver Arrows because Lewis is there, rather than George Russell. 

“Perhaps Lewis might be wanting to do fewer days or have fewer commitments?

“What Lewis will be signing up for goes way beyond him driving at a grand prix. 

“It is about what rights he retains in terms of his image, and what rights he sells to the team. 

“Mercedes are buying more than just Lewis’ driving services. They are buying his promotional image and his PR image.

“I don’t think there is any realistic chance that Lewis will leave Mercedes unless there is a major fallout. And I can’t see that happening.

“Who would the major fallout be with? Even if it was with Toto, Lewis’ relationship with Mercedes’ parent company Daimler is much longer than Toto’s emergence as team principal of Mercedes.”

Lawrence Barretto at F1.com provided optimism that Hamilton and Mercedes’ alliance would continue.

“Neither Mercedes boss Toto Wolff nor Hamilton appear stressed by the amount of time it is taking to get a new deal over the line. They’ve both said that the key terms – including money and length of the arrangement – have been agreed,” he reported.

“It’s just, as Wolff puts it, ‘trivial things that need to be cleaned up’ in the contract before it all gets signed off.

“Hamilton has left it late to sign a new deal in the past. It wasn’t until the eve of pre-season in 2021 that he inked a one-year extension to race in that upcoming campaign. Just six months later, he penned a new two-year deal, taking him up to the end of 2023.

“The 38-year-old reckons he can race on for at least another five years, the Briton believing he still has what it takes to win a record eighth World Championship.”