Lewis Hamilton contract: Mercedes insider explains when announcement will happen

F1: Lewis Hamilton goes cross-country skiing

Lewis Hamilton will sign a new Mercedes contract this month, a Silver Arrows insider has reportedly claimed. The Brit’s future has been up in the air for several months now, ever since he won the F1 Drivers’ Championship for a seventh time. And it seems as though an end to the saga is now in sight.

Hamilton was outstanding in 2020, with the 36-year-old finishing way ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen in the F1 standings.

But, in the time since, his future has been the biggest talking point within Formula One.

Hamilton is yet to sign an extension with the Silver Arrows, nearly three months after he won the title for a seventh time – drawing level with the iconic Michael Schumacher in the process.

Yet a Mercedes insider has told Formula1news that Hamilton will sign a new deal, and it’s poised to be announced later this month.

“Lewis’ future here was never in doubt. It’s just a question of time,” they’re quoted as saying.

“I’m confident it will be wrapped up and announced sometime in Feb.”

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Mercedes chief Toto Wolff recently opened up on the situation and insisted Hamilton was vital to the team, despite rumours claiming George Russell could replace him.

“Lewis is incredibly important, not only for our team but also for the Mercedes brand,” the Austrian said in late January.

“But the landscape is changing right now.

“We have a big regulation change next year and the cost cap that will hit us hard next year.

“These are all factors that have played a role in our discussions. Also, of course, looking at the future.

“And then it goes into detail and we don’t want to be put under pressure. It should be a reasonable agreement and we are not far away from that.”

Hamilton has been tight-lipped about the situation but, recently, suggested he was working hard to ensure he’s fit and ready for the new season.

”Hey World, I haven’t been on here for a while. I’m in the mountains training everyday, getting my mind and body right,” he said.

“I’m hiking to the top of the mountain every morning. Three of those hikes I cross country ski once I get to the top which is at 3400m, killer.

“I love altitude training, there is less oxygen high up so working out is much harder than at sea level, just walking up the stairs you feel it at 2000m.

“Normal when I finish training here and return to sea level running is such a breeze. I’m trying to find the right balance in cardio and strength building.

“On top of that, lots of work ongoing in the background. Many moving parts but just checking in to let you know I’m doing good, I’m healthy and mentally strong right now in my bubble.

“I hope you are staying as positive as you can with all that is still going on. Keep your head up.

“I can’t wait to see you all again at some stage soon. Sending you love and light #teamlh.”

Meanwhile, former F1 team coach Eddie Jordan recently expressed a belief that Mercedes would be wrong to let Hamilton go.

“Mercedes are probably saying a lot of this is to do with the car and we’ve given him an outstanding chance to be World Champion because he has the best car. That’s not in dispute,” Jordan told the BBC.

“However, if they think they can replace Lewis Hamilton with another driver and have the same element of success then I think they are deluded.

“And one thing’s for sure – Mercedes and Wolff will not be easily deluded. He’s a very smart guy.

“He knows exactly the value of Lewis Hamilton and I think they will sit down and come to a good solution because the world of F1 needs Lewis Hamilton in it. He’s the jewel in the crown.”

Jordan also said it was “a problem” that an eighth consecutive World Championship for Mercedes in 2021 appears to be a foregone conclusion.

“The sport is in a difficult situation because nobody can put their finger on Mercedes,” added the Irishman. “They do it better than anyone else.

“Max Verstappen won the last race but that shouldn’t confuse people into thinking it will be much more open.

“Mercedes have the best people and the best engine, so how can they not win the Championship? That’s a problem for me.

“It’s difficult to find the right sponsorship and you’re just not going to compete with that.”

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