Lewis Hamilton has started talks over new Mercedes deal
The seven-time world champion indicated during the Silver Arrows’ launch at Silverstone on Wednesday that he is “planning to stay a bit longer”.
And Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff later revealed discussions over an extensions to Hamilton’s £40million-a-season deal, which expires at the end of the year, have begun.
We have had a first chat, but I don’t want to commit to any timeline,
“We have had a first chat, but I don’t want to commit to any timeline,” said Wolff.
“That is not important for him or for us. His current contract runs a full year and we will find the right time.
“We have done a few of these contracts in the past and it is not usually complex apart from the obvious terms.”
Hamilton turned 38 last month with his next deal – which likely to be a multi-season contract – is set to carry him beyond his 40th birthday.
Wolff added: “The age plays no role for this next contract. If you look at how well top athletes have pushed the boundaries, and I am thinking about Tom Brady, who is 45 and has been on a pitch and being tackled.
“In terms of the contract, we have always found good solutions that reflect his value to the team, and the sport, and Mercedes is the place he wants to be. Nothing is dragging on, the alignment is great and this will be a journey that continues.”
Hamilton recorded his worst championship finishing position in F1 last year after the Silver Arrows failed to master the sport’s new regulations.
But Wolff continued: “How he appears to me is in great form, very positive, motivated, energised, and maybe the best so far I have seen in those 10 years at Mercedes after the winter.
“He knows what he has with the team. We have won eight constructors’ titles in a row, and we got it wrong last year. The resource and the capability is there and we just need to continue to develop like we have done last season.
“I don’t think it plays on Lewis’ mind, that he is in any doubt that the team can perform. We will. Eventually.”
Earlier Hamilton said: “I have been here a long time. I continue to love racing and that is never ever going to change. It is part of my DNA and I always believe I can get better.
“I love the challenge of the mental and the physical elements, of having to deep dive, and see how I can extract more performance from me, the people around me, and the car that is constantly evolving.
“There is always a new log-book and new tools that you have to get used to, and I love that so I am planning to stay a little bit longer.”
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