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Hamilton contract speculation mounts

NEWS STORY
20/01/2023

While it is a forgone conclusion that Lewis Hamilton is going to agree a new deal with Mercedes, speculation over the length of the deal and the money involved has led to the usual media frenzy.

Though Toto Wolff claims the new contract with the seven-time champion will take just a "few hours" to agree, pending the (now) traditional "announce" tweet the media is having a field day and coming up with some eye-watering figures in the process.

British tabloid, the Daily Mirror claims that a 62m ($76m) a year two-year deal is on the table, while the ever ludicrous Daily Express says that the driver wants a 350m ($432m) deal that lasts "until he's 50", which, seeing as he has just turned 38 would mean another 12 seasons. Meanwhile, Australia's Nine.com quotes French outlet 20 Minutes, which talks of a 387m ($478m) deal covering 13 seasons.

While Max Noble, in his latest feature, speculates whether the likes of Hamilton and Fernando Alonso might remain in the sport until the age of 53 - the age at which Luigi Fagioli won the French Grand Prix - absolutely nobody expects Mercedes - or anyone else - to be considering contracts of more than two or three seasons. Consequently, with 2023 already wrapped up we are most likely looking at a two-year deal covering 2024 and 2025 after which the Briton will almost certainly say farewell.

French business website Sportune, echoes the Daily Mirror's 62m a year deal, which is a nice improvement on his current (estimated) 40m ($49m) a year. However, the French site claims that this would not include the usual 22m ($27m) bonus for winning the title.

However, to soften that particular blow - and hopefully allow Hamilton not to fear the current cost of living crisis - the new deal would include an "ambassadorial" role worth up to 22m a year.

Sportune claims that the majority of the fee would be paid by Ineos, whose founder and chairman, Jim Ratcliffe is part-owner of the Mercedes team along with Mercedes-Benz and Wolff.

Speaking following last week's news that strategist James Vowles was joining Williams, when asked about Hamilton's future, Wolff was confident.

"We are going to do another deal," he said. "We're going to sit down and we're going to discuss it in these next couple of months, I would say.

"We have a full year to go," he added. "We're so aligned. In the last ten years our relationship has grown that it's just a matter of him physically being back in Europe, sticking our heads together, wrestling a bit and then leaving the room with white smoke after a few hours."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Paulinho, 22/01/2023 9:06

"I guess it's better to give the money to the driver(s) rather than spending it all on hospitality."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by dejan, 20/01/2023 19:50

"Of course the media would be in a frenzy. They never look for sensational headlines in trying to sell newspapers/ads, or just grab attention. Just like this PitPass article ;)"

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3. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 20/01/2023 17:34

"I imagine Hamilton would be keen to sign a lifetime Mercedes ambassador role which could be in the high figures mentioned in the article.

As an F1 driver, no way would they sign more than 2 years. Not fair to either party."

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4. Posted by JamesD, 20/01/2023 17:00

"Well, if it's in the Daily Mirror it must be gospel ..."

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5. Posted by Endre, 20/01/2023 13:33

"Mercedes would be lunatics to pay him more than what he has now. If anything, based on 2022 performance I would drop his salary to whatever amount George is making. If he doesn't like, it, there are plenty talented youngsters waiting for a seat. Imagine how much good all those millions could do if invested in the proper causes / charities."

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6. Posted by Max Noble, 20/01/2023 13:30

"…side note… Note my articles on the cost cap for where Ineos are coming from… Living rent free…!
"

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7. Posted by Max Noble, 20/01/2023 13:27

"@Daily Mirror - You. Are. On. Drugs. No one signs a 12 year deal! Tom Brady anyone? Lewis will be on a series of back-to-back two year deals with a follow-on two year option, most likely a two-plus-two-plus-two. That is two years agreed, with the scope of potential follow-on two year deals agreed in this initial contact. Twelve years! Seriously… welcome to planet earth when you eventually get here…"

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8. Posted by Jet Jockey, 20/01/2023 12:37

"LOL at the press."

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