Lewis Hamilton’s existing contract with Mercedes is expiring at the end of the ongoing Formula One season. However, an extension is yet to be announced. Both parties are apparently running negotiations but have been unable to reach a consensus so far. There are several factors that could be acting as a roadblock. Here are five such reasons which may be causing a delay in an announcement.
1. Contract Duration
Lewis Hamilton is 38 and may not have many years left in his Formula One career. Hence, the British driver will have to carefully evaluate how he wants to approach the next few years. He desperately wants to attain the eighth title. The real question is: Will Mercedes be able to fulfill Hamilton’s dream? Or should he sign for one year and keep the options open? This will be a tough decision for Lewis, and he has to decide in his best interest carefully.
Lewis Hamilton has ruled the sport of Formula One over the past decade and is nothing short of a superstar. Moreover, before Max Verstappen signed with Red Bull, the Briton remained the highest-earning driver on the grid. However, with Mercedes undergoing a tough phase with regard to machinery development, they need cost-cutting to save funds. Hence, the Silver Arrows may remain a little hesitant during negotiations with Lewis. The British driver, on the other hand, is not expected to settle for less despite being on the last stretch of his storied career.
3. Right To Speech
Mercedes has built the best car on the grid over the past decade, through which they earned eight constructors championships. However, since 2022, the team has struggled with the base concept of the machinery. Moreover, Lewis Hamilton candidly criticized the development made by the team and even went on to claim that his inputs were ignored. Having said that, building a car is the engineers’ job. Drivers have no right to meddle with it. But with Hamilton, rules tend to bend at times. Hence, in a bid to attain his eight titles, Lewis will demand the right to have a say in the design of the car.
4. Keeping Options Open
Owing to Mercedes’ struggle since 2022, Lewis Hamilton may have lost some confidence in his team. Amid this, the British driver had apparently been contacted by Ferrari as they tried to lure the seven-time champion with a mega offer. Teams like Aston Martin and Hamilton’s former team, McLaren, are also not far from Silver Arrows in terms of performance. So, could Hamilton be seeking jumping ships? Or his faith in the Brackley-based team is still intact? For Silver Arrows, they need to be certain that the Briton will remain loyal to them if they see him driving the W-series in the near future.
Toto Wolff may be worried about Lewis Hamilton emulating Nico Rosberg. Winning the eighth title is the endgame for the 38-year-old. He could very well hang up his helmet after attaining that ultimate trophy. Hence, Mercedes may be in two minds about offering Hamilton a long-term contract. With older drivers, there is always a risk of abrupt retirement. Moreover, Lewis’ case is no different. As a result, the talks of retirement will be discussed at the negotiation table between the two parties.