Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have reportedly had a breakthrough in contract negotiations with an ‘agreement’ already in place. Hamilton’s future in F1 has dominated headlines in the offseason on whether or not he will stay at Mercedes.
Talks over a new contract were put on hold until after the final race of last season in Abu Dhabi.
Both parties indicated that they wanted to move forward with one another, suggesting an agreement would be relatively straightforward.
But it’s been the complete opposite with negotiations taking well over a month, leading to speculation over Hamilton’s future.
With Mercedes being the only F1 team not to have both driver slots confirmed for the upcoming season, there were even suggestions that they may have to find a replacement for Hamilton.
George Russell was being touted as an alternative given he could be promoted from Williams, while Nico Hulkenberg was also reportedly an option.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff though has repeatedly stated his confidence that Hamilton would sign on.
And it appears as though an announcement is imminent on Hamilton’s future with Mercedes.
According to AutosportWeb, the 36-year-old has agreed terms on a new contract with the Silver Arrows and an announcement is expected to take place this week.
It is suggested that there were three key aspects of the deal which were holding up negotiations over the past few weeks.
But Hamilton has seemingly now agreed terms on the length of the contract, the basic salary and bonuses.
And his new deal also reportedly includes a veto right regarding his choice in a team-mate at Mercedes.
The contract will see Hamilton sign on with Mercedes until the end of 2022, although Hamilton is said to have an option to extend it for another year.
It’s thought that this will be Hamilton’s final contract in F1, but the seven-time world champion insists he’s still as hungry as ever to succeed.
“You’ve got to find what you’re passionate about and what you love doing, and me personally, in my journey, there was a point where it just got too serious,” Hamilton told the Formula for Success podcast.
“We only have one life. You have to enjoy what you’re doing. You’ve got to find happiness every day in what you are doing and I think that has been really important for me to be able to live in the moment.
“Yes, it’s a competitive space that I’m in, but damn when I get in that car and put down the visor and the team start up the car and I leave the garage, I have the biggest smile. Even today, after all these years of racing.
“If there’s ever a day that that doesn’t happen, I don’t get that smile, I know that it’s done and I need to move on to something else.”