February 23, 2024

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Lewis Hamilton demands Mercedes deal that would see him carry on racing until age of 43

EXCLUSIVE: Lewis wants to drive until he’s 43! Hamilton demands a five-year contract worth £250m to re-sign for Mercedes

  • Lewis Hamilton is demanding a five-year deal if he is to remain with Mercedes 
  • It isn’t certain that Mercedes will bind themselves to Hamilton for that long 
  • There may need to be a compromise especially given George Russell’s situation 

Lewis Hamilton has demanded a five-year contract to re-sign for Mercedes.

Mail Sport understands the seven-time world champion wants to race on to the age of 43, making himself £250million in the process, though it remains to be seen if the team are willing to bow to this desire.

A source with knowledge of the protracted negotiations said: ‘Lewis wants five years, and if it were just a one-year extension I don’t think he’d accept it.

‘They may need to reach a compromise because, while George (Russell) has probably made peace with the idea of Lewis being around for a couple of years, he might not accept being in the shadow of his team-mate for the long-term.

‘There is always a lure about Ferrari, but Lewis will probably think that his only hope of winning his eighth title is by staying where he is.

‘Money is not a delaying factor.’

Lewis Hamilton has demanded a five-year contract if he is to remain with Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton has demanded a five-year contract if he is to remain with Mercedes

If Hamilton was to sign such a deal then he would still be racing at the age of 43

If Hamilton was to sign such a deal then he would still be racing at the age of 43

Riddle over Lewis’s deal 

One moment Toto Wolff said it would only take 30 minutes over a coffee. Then he said it was a matter of days not weeks. Lewis Hamilton said on Thursday night it might 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.’

Toto Wolff initially said that the deal would only take 30 minutes over a coffee

Toto Wolff initially said that the deal would only take 30 minutes over a coffee

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.

It isn't certain that Mercedes will bind themselves to Hamilton for such a long period

It isn’t certain that Mercedes will bind themselves to Hamilton for such a long period

There are concerns George Russell may not accept being in the shadows for so long

There are concerns George Russell may not accept being in the shadows for so long