Domenicali: Hamilton contract delay not down to salary
By Mat Coch
Sunday 7th February, 2021 - 10:10am
The delay in Lewis Hamilton signing a new contract with Mercedes is unlikely to be down to finances, suggested Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton is currently a free agent as the new season approaches after his contract with Mercedes expired at the end of 2020.
Discussions surrounding a new deal have been protracted, despite both Hamilton and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff expressing a desire to continue the relationship.
Now 36-years-old, Hamilton is in the final years of his F1 career, with his next contract quite possibly his last.
According to Domenicali, that makes this a critical decision for the Englishman.
“I’m not in Lewis’s head and not even in Toto’s position,” said Domenicali.
“But he (Hamilton) has to take an important decision for his life.
“I think that they are discussing a lot of points,” he added.
“I don’t think that is only a point related to his salary or whatever you call it.
“I think it’s really more related to what they have in mind to share together in the future. I think that’s the reason why.
“But maybe they are not in a rush because they have already decided it’s all okay. We never know.
“But for me, it would be really good to see as soon as we have the announcement Lewis with the energy that he has been always giving to F1. And I’m sure that will be.”
Hamilton is the winningest driver in world championship history, and equals Michael Schumacher for the record number of titles.
Given the superiority of Mercedes in the current era, and with stable regulations heading into the new season, he is an odds on favourite to better the German great.
Such an achievement would leave him as the sole owner of all meaningful statistics in F1; most championships, most wins, and most pole positions.
“I really hope that we can have this announcement soon because what he is going to fight for this year is something that, for the sporting perspective, is incredible,” Domenicali said.
“I can imagine the pressure and the dynamic of how he wants to reach this new record because that would be an incredible story to tell.”
Hamilton entered F1 in 2007 with McLaren and came within a point of the championship in his rookie year.
His first title came the following year, before beginning to dominate the sport from 2014 with Mercedes.
Of the 138 grands prix held under the turbo hybrid engine formula, Hamilton has won 73 of them.
“He is an incredible driver,” said Domenicali.
“He’s an incredible man. He’s an incredible athlete and he’s given to Formula 1 a different dimension that is over the sport, I would say.
“Therefore, as soon as we will know what will be his future, I think that it would be great to see him fighting for something that no one would have thought possible to achieve after Michael leaving.”