Riddle over Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes deal: Team principal Toto Wolff said it would take 30 minutes to sort contract renewal… but the Brit now claims it could take MONTHS
- There remains a mystery over Lewis Hamilton’s contract renewal with Mercedes
- Team principal Toto Wolff suggested discussions would only take 30 minutes
- But the Brit has cooled those claims and insisted it could instead take months
Welcome to the riddle of the seven-time world champion’s contract talks. All these perplexing comments have come in the space of a fortnight, with the latest from the driver in Montreal ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix.
‘I’ve nothing more to say on the contract side,’ he sighed wearily. ‘If it’s next week or next month it really doesn’t bother me.
‘I’ve seen Toto. We have talked several times. We’ve got a great relationship.’
Pressed on whether there had been progress, he said: ‘Yes. Nothing new to report.’
Lewis Hamilton has claimed that it could take months to resolve his Mercedes contract dispute
Toto Wolff (pictured) remains confident a new deal will be struck with Hamilton at Mercedes
One convincing theory is that Hamilton is biding his time to see how Mercedes progress for as long as he can to determine whether to stick around.
If not, his only possible option is Ferrari, but they are struggling at least as badly as the Silver Arrows. Retire? The very notion makes it time to cite Nico Rosberg, his old pal turned rival, who once observed: ‘Lewis will find it hard when he stops.’
That comment came to mind in relation to Mail Sport’s revelation this morning that Hamilton opened negotiations by asking for another five years in exchange for his signature.
That would mean he would only take his leave of the sport aged 43, having started out at McLaren in 2007 at 22. It would earn him £250million.
It may be that the request has been watered down in negotiations and that a compromise of two or three years is now more realistic. Mercedes have privately denied that a one-year deal is on the table.
Nothing is clear. Wolff has said that resolution could be reached before this weekend’s race. Now a Mercedes spokesman says no announcement is imminent. Stranger and stranger.