Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes may have found a contract solution that will help the F1 team save cash and meet the racer’s demands.
The Brit, who received a knighthood after his record-equalling seventh Drivers’ Championship, is yet to sign on with the team for the 2021 season – which starts in March.
This is because the 35-year-old has been mulling over a thee-year deal with Mercedes that is worth £40million a year.
Hamilton, though, has suggested he has a dilemma as the deal would stop him doing “anything he wants” amid retirement plans.
But Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport have reported that Mercedes have come up with a solution to keep everyone happy.
The Brit has made some big demands to the racing team, asking for his pay to stay the same – but the impact of Covid-19 has seen them look to make cutbacks.
There has been a boost for the German manufacturers, though, as chemicals conglomerate INEOS – run by £18billion-valued Sir Jim Ratcliffe – have become one-third shareholders.
And the report states that the British company would take a chunk of Hamilton’s contract to make sure he stays with the F1 team.
The Brit is the only racer who has not signed up for a new contract, with just weeks left before teams start revealing their new motors.
But Mercedes chief Toto Wolff, who also owns a third of the team, has remained related about Hamilton’s contract.
He said in December: “We are not worried about eventually getting it done.
“We are not putting a special date to it because we don't want to be under pressure.
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“Sooner or later it needs to be done and at the latest before we go testing [ahead of the 2021 season].”
Wolff, though, did set a deadline for the agreement to be signed before Mercedes’ pre-season tests in March.
That is also the scheduled start date of the 2021 season, with the Australian GP pencilled in – but Covid-19 is already causing chaos to the schedule.
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