Lewis Hamilton is set to end the uncertainty over his Formula 1 future “soon” by signing a contract extension at Mercedes.
The seven-time world champion’s seat is the last one still TBC for 2021, and since the turn of the year, there has been great speculation over the terms he is demanding regarding salary and even having a say on who his teammate is.
But in recent days, the story has progressed to the point where Hamilton now appears poised to put pen to paper following comments by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff
“The lawyers are working hard,” he told ORF this week. “We don’t make life easy for them, of course, when we both argue over Zoom and keep sending curveballs to the lawyers.
“He’s in America now and I’m here. At some point, we will finalise it. It’s how it is with negotiations.
“You always come from different corners, but that’s quite normal. We have a really solid basis in our relationship.
“We have celebrated great successes together and want to continue doing so in the future.
“Sometimes you have to talk things out in detail, and that took or still takes us some time. But before Bahrain at the latest, you have to sign something at some point.”
Then, in a separate interview with Germany’s RTL, Wolff confirmed an announcement was coming “soon”.
“Soon is a flexible term but yeah, soon,” he said.
Perhaps due to his demands, however, the Mercedes chief appeared to rule out a three-year contract for Hamilton, something else he was hoping for.
“I don’t think so,” he said.
Instead, it has been suggested the 36-year-old might only get a one-year extension at the Brackley-based team.
This as George Russell looks set to be promoted from Williams for 2022 and, potentially, Max Verstappen might have a release clause in his Red Bull contract.