Hamilton eyes Christmas deadline for new Mercedes contract
By James Pavey
Tuesday 15th December, 2020 - 12:17pm
Lewis Hamilton wants a new Mercedes contract to be “tied up” before Christmas ahead of the 2021 Formula 1 season.
Hamilton joined Mercedes in 2013, and has won six titles and 74 races with the Brackley-based squad.
He clinched a record-equalling seventh world championship in a truncated 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Briton, who will turn 36 next month, claimed 11 wins and three further podiums in 16 starts.
However, he missed the penultimate race of the season due to a positive coronavirus test, before returning for the Abu Dhabi season finale where he struggled to third.
While previously stating he was in no rush to sign a new deal, Hamilton said he and the team expect to have a new contact sorted before the New Year.
“Hopefully over the next couple of weeks,” he said after the race in Abu Dhabi.
“I would love… we would love to get it done before Christmas, I think.
“I plan to be here next year… I want to be here next year.
“I think us, as a team, have more to do together and more to achieve both in the sport but even more outside the sport I think.
“So yeah, I hope we can begin this week, discussions, and hopefully get it tied up before Christmas.”
Valtteri Bottas was handed a one-year contract extension with the team earlier this season, but there have been delays on Hamilton’s future.
Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff wants to keep an unchanged line-up for a fifth straight season.
Wolff said talks with Hamilton were delayed by his COVID-19 diagnosis and resulting isolation, but refused to put a deadline on a contract confirmation.
“I think we were delayed by him being unwell, and I think that’s not the right time to sit down,” Wolff said.
“We were planning to sit down the other week, so it’s going to be a little bit later.
“But I don’t want to put a date to it, because I don’t want to be hounded about why it’s not signed yet.”