Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton says thrashing out a new deal to stay with Mercedes is not currently his main priority because he is “solely focused” on winning this year’s world championship.

Hamilton is widely expected to agree fresh terms to remain with Mercedes for next season and beyond, but the two parties have yet to sit down and agree on a new deal.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, who is out of contract himself at the end of the year as he evaluates his position, had said he wanted to use the “larger gaps” in the condensed 2020 F1 calendar to make progress with Hamilton.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix, Hamilton provided an update on his position and stressed there is no specific reason for why talks have not been finalised.

"Not particularly anything, just haven’t really spoken much about it,” Hamilton said when asked why there were delays in an announcement of a deal that is considered to be a formality.

“[Is it] a formality, I don’t know - probably. I guess at some stage we have to sit down and have the conversation but it’s not a priority right now, getting the job done for me this year personally is the priority. That’s what I’m solely focused on right now.”

Hamilton admitted that negotiations are never an easy process to go through but reiterated his commitment to Mercedes.

“Negotiations are never an easy thing for most people, having to go into an office and sit with your boss, it’s never an easy position to be in,” he said. 

“I don’t particularly feel uneasy about it, I’ve done it multiple times now. It’s just when the time is right, we’ll do and get on with it. At the end of the day I’ve always been committed to this team and completely transparent.

“I know if you don’t have communication for a while, people can start to hear whispers or have a fear… I could for example worry that Toto is speaking to somebody else which is silly, I don’t think that. I’m just saying that’s what humans can do.

“So, it’s always been important just to be really clear with each other about our intentions. I haven’t spoken to anybody else, I don’t plan to and at some stage Toto and I will sit down and work out our path moving forwards.

“We have achieved quite a lot together and it’s quite remarkable what we’ve done together over these years and we are still not done.”

Hamilton previously said he felt uncomfortable with the idea of negotiating a “big contract” amid current issues in the global economy caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I haven’t made any decisions but I do want to stay,” he explained. “Normally when we sit down it’s been three-year periods.

“But of course we are in a different time. Do I want to continue for three years is also a question. There are many, many questions still to be answered. And we’re also going into a new era of car in 2022. So it kind of excites me what could happen in 2022 in terms of what the cars are like.

“I think if you look short-term you could say there’s going to be companies and business that are going out [of business] during this time. Mercedes I would say are on the climb back, I would say they’re now in a much better place, everyone’s had a big hit this year.

“But if you look at the future I think the future’s bright. I think there’s going to be some changes. Ola [Källenius] came out with a new plan that Mercedes have moving forwards in terms of sustainability, in terms of pushing their cars more towards electric, and the same with AMG, so I think the future’s bright.

“These are all things that we will naturally think about but I think I’ve earned the right or the position so far to be able to stay for a decent amount of time, so time will tell. I can’t really say too much more, hopefully you’ll hear something in the next couple of months.”

 

Comments

Loading Comments...