Brundle claims Hamilton isn’t ‘super happy’

Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1 driver-turned commentator and pundit Martin Brundle has suggested Lewis Hamilton isn’t happy with his new Mercedes contract.

Hamilton last month inked a new one-year deal with Mercedes after protracted negotiations.

That came after his previous contract expired at the end of the 2020 campaign, making him a free agent.

While working with the 36-year-old ahead of the coming season, Brundle noted the seven-time champion’s demeanour.

“We did a couple of features with him,” says Brundle, who works with Sky F1.

“He was very generous but a bit grumpy actually, I thought generally.

“It’s interesting that his right-hand man, Marc Hynes, is no longer working with him.

“I sensed he possibly wasn’t super happy with the way the negotiations have worked out at Mercedes.”

Hamilton’s one-year deal sees him a free agent at the same time as the current regulation set expires.

Mercedes has dominated the current era, winning every world championship on offer.

Hamilton himself has missed out on only one drivers’ crown since 2014, finishing second to team-mate Nico Rosberg in 2016.

The coming season was originally planned to usher in radically different aerodynamic rules, but those were delayed as the pandemic hit the sport.

It’s hoped the new regulations will bring with it greater competition, but could offer Hamilton a natural exit from the sport, potentially as F1’s first eight-time world champion.

Hamilton celebrates winning his seventh world championship

“I’m kind of in a fortunate position where I’ve achieved most of the stuff that I’ve wanted to achieve up to this point,” Hamilton said after signing his new Mercedes deal.

“So there’s no real need, necessarily, to plan too far ahead in the future.

“I think we live in quite an unusual period of time in life, and I just wanted one year,” he added.

“Then we can talk about if we do more, and keep adding [to] it if we have to.”

Hamilton heads into the 2021 season as favourite for the title as stable regulations look to maintain Mercedes as the class leaders.

Despite that, Brundle suggests Hamilton is looking to play down the prospect of further success.

“I did say to him ‘you’re going to burst through 100 poles this year at some point, most likely’ and he went ‘why?'” Brundle said.

“‘McLaren were a quarter of a second behind us in Abu Dhabi, now they’ve got our engine; what about Red Bull, maybe the high rake works; and don’t count out Ferrari, and the Aston Martin will be strong’.

“He sort of really challenged me quite hard and I said ‘well, you have got 98 of them, mostly in the hybrid era, you scored ten last year, there’s half a chance you’ll get two more this year’.

“But when we got over that little hurdle – because Lewis does love to poke you a little bit before you sit down to do stuff like that – I had an hour with him talking about that amazing race in Istanbul last year when he took his seventh world title.

“He was very generous on [what’s going on] inside his head, inside his life of a grand prix weekend and how qualifying unfolds.”

The 2021 Formula 1 season gets underway with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 26-28.

Before then, teams will be in action at the Bahrain International Circuit for three days of pre-season testing, starting this Friday (March 12-14).

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