New Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali concedes he is unsure whether Lewis Hamilton will sign a new contract with Mercedes.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton is currently out of contract and yet to agree new terms to continue racing with Mercedes in 2021 and beyond, despite the start of the new season being less than two months away.

Domenicali, speaking in one of his first major interviews since taking over from Chase Carey as president and CEO of F1, revealed he has talked to Hamilton about the Briton’s future during the winter break.

“I have spoken with Lewis, we talked during the Christmas period,” Domenicali told Sky Sport Italia.

“He is preparing. He is not telling me if he will sign or not sign the renewal with Mercedes.”

Hamilton is currently ramping up his winter training, showing little sign he is about to walk away from F1, while Crash.net understands that Mercedes remain relaxed and confident a deal will be reached in time for pre-season testing in Bahrain on 12-14 March.

Domenicali, who doubts Hamilton would call time on his F1 career when he has the opportunity to win an unprecedented eighth world title, said he hopes a deal can be struck sooner rather than later to resolve the matter.

"He has a great opportunity, not only speaking in terms of sports, to be the strongest in the world,” he explained.

“He also has the opportunity to continue to have a role that goes beyond the sporting dimension, and he will be able to do so also in the future.

"To be champion is one thing, but it’s another to do it in another dimension.

“So I am convinced and I hope, as an interested party, that everything can be resolved quickly.”

Speaking to Sky Sports’ Martin Brundle, Domenicali explained that F1’s “incredible” group of drivers will be at the forefront of the sport’s future.

"[The drivers] will be at the centre of the future of Formula 1,” he said.

"I think that they represent the real soul of our sport - their faces, their ability. I would say to interpret them, not only as drivers, but as the ambassadors of our sport. They will be crucial for the future.

"We didn't have in the last decade so many good drivers as we have now. We have incredible young drivers, there is an incredible record to be achieved for Lewis, for others, so the challenge there is great."

 

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