Lewis Hamilton says he wants to get his next Mercedes Formula 1 deal finalised “before Christmas” as he insists he has “more to achieve” both in and outside the sport.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton is out of contract at the end of the year but a renewed deal has always seemed a formality, despite continued delays to negotiations between the Briton and Mercedes and his suggestion in Imola that there was no guarantee he would continue in F1 next season.

Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff said ahead of last month’s Bahrain Grand Prix that he expected a deal was unlikely to be agreed before the end of the season, with talks being put on hold again after Hamilton contracted coronavirus and was forced to skip the penultimate round of the season.

Speaking after the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in the post-race FIA press conference, Hamilton reiterated his desire to continue racing with Mercedes in 2021 and beyond.

“Hopefully over the next couple weeks,” Hamilton replied when asked when he planned to sit down and thrash out a deal with Wolff to end the long-running saga over his future.

"We’d love to get it done before Christmas. I plan to be here next year, I want to be here next year and I think us as a team have more to do together, more to achieve both in the sport but even more outside the sport I think.

“I hope we can begin discussions this week and get it tied up before Christmas.”

Wolff is himself out of contract at the end of 2020 but has indicated he will continue on in his current role for at least another season.

The Austrian has also ruled out the suggestion that Mercedes could swap Bottas and Williams driver George Russell for 2021 after qualifying on Saturday. 

 

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