Six-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton wants £40 million per year to sign a new contract at German constructors, Mercedes.
The 35-year-old Briton’s current contract runs out at the end of the 2020 season.
Hamilton, who currently earns £36 million a year in wages is looking to bump up his finances if he is to continue at Mercedes. The Daily Mail claims that Hamilton is set to reveal his demands to Team Principal and CEO of Mercedes, Toto Wolff in the coming weeks.
Hamilton is already the richest sportsperson in Britain, worth an estimated £224 million and also the most well-paid driver on the F1 grid.
Hamilton may have one fewer bargaining chip for upcoming talks, though. The British champ had hoped to spark a bidding war with Ferrari but with the Italian manufacturer already settling its line-up for 2021, that is now out of the question.
Talks over a new contract at Mercedes stalled due to the enforced lockdown. However, with F1 back this weekend, starting with the Austrian Grand Prix, Hamilton and Wolff will be spending much more time together.
Serious negotiations over a new deal will be one of the hot topics in the paddock. Both Hamilton and Wolff are said to be “relaxed” about the impending talks but both money and the length of the contract could be potential stumbling blocks.
The coronavirus pandemic has sorely affected finances in sport and with half of the F1 calendar already wiped out, teams are feeling it in their pockets – and Mercedes may not be willing to offer the best-paid racer another pay rise.
Hamilton must also decide whether he wants to pull down the curtain on his career while at Mercedes – or finally have a crack at racing in the iconic red of Ferrari.
Carlos Sainz is believed to have signed only a one-year deal at Ferrari, after finishing this season with McLaren. That would mean a seat opening up in 2022 – something Hamilton will certainly be aware of.