Lewis Hamilton will sign a new contract with Mercedes this week, former Formula One team boss Eddie Jordan has said. Hamilton’s previous £40million-a-year deal with the sport’s all-conquering team expired on the final day of December.
And Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff recently indicated that a resolution is not forthcoming, admitting to arguing with his star driver on Zoom over the terms of his latest deal.
But Jordan, who remains well-connected in the sport, told the PA news agency: ‘I believe Lewis will be signed within a week. I cannot see it going into February.
‘Where do Mercedes go after Lewis? Of course, they can have the pick of the crop, but that is not the way Toto operates.
‘He has increased his shareholding over the winter, brought in INEOS as a one-third shareholder, and he doesn’t want to be walking up and down the paddock with somebody new that he has to think about.
‘He wants to be there with the man of the moment, he wants to be there with the king of all kings in Formula One and that is Lewis Hamilton.’
Jordan ran his own F1 team for 14 years and believes Hamilton, 36, who has won six of his record-equalling seven world championships with Mercedes, should be granted a slice of the team’s television revenue.
Accounts published last autumn said the Silver Arrows enjoyed a near-quarter share of F1’s TV coverage, generating a cumulative advertising value equivalent to nearly £4billion for its commercial partners.
Jordan, 72, speaking after it was announced that he has invested in Guestia, a new travel and event application, added: ‘The TV rights that Mercedes are getting as a result of winning the drivers’ and the constructors’ championship, surely some of that should go to Lewis?
‘He has been a hugely important part of the success and the reward they are getting. Who is the first person the TV people want to speak to first? Lewis. Do Lewis’ comments get repeated much more than anyone else? Of course they do.
‘If you look at LeBron James and Tiger Woods, they went to the organisers of their respective sports and said that we bring more credibility and support because of who we are and you need to compensate us. So pay Lewis an amount of money that the team are getting. I cannot see how he is not entitled to that.
‘Some might say he is already being overpaid, and maybe so, but we all said that nobody would ever come close to Michael Schumacher’s record and now you have a driver who has the potential to beat him by becoming an eight-time world champion. And make no mistake, Lewis is getting better.’
Hamilton, currently training in America, is due to open his championship defence in Bahrain on March 28.