Hamilton not happy with Mercedes negotiations?


F1 broadcaster, Martin Brundle says that recent talks with Lewis Hamilton left him feeling that the seven-time world champion is not entirely happy with how his contract negotiations with Mercedes went.

Almost exactly one month ago today, F1 fans, F1 bosses and F1 broadcasters breathed a collective sigh of relief when Mercedes announced that Lewis Hamilton had agreed to a new deal.

However, the sting in the tail was that the Briton and his team had only agreed a one-year deal, meaning that as season end, ahead of the biggest overhaul of the rules for some time, the German team currently has no drivers under contract.

Speaking several weeks later at the launch of the team's 2021 contender, Hamilton explained the rationale behind the one-year deal from his perspective.

"I'm kind of in a fortunate position where I've achieved most of the stuff that I've wanted to achieve up to this point," he said. "So there's no real need necessarily to plan too far ahead in the future.

"I think we live in quite an unusual period of time in life, and I just wanted one year," he added. "Then we can talk about if we do more, and keep adding it if we have to."

However, in a pre-season video for Sky Sports, Martin Brundle admits that having talked to the world champion he can't help feeling that Hamilton isn't entirely happy with how the negotiations went.

"We did a couple of features with him," says Brundle. "He was very generous but a bit grumpy actually, I thought generally.

"It's interesting that his right-hand man, Marc Hynes, is no longer working with him," he adds. "I sensed he possibly wasn't super-happy with the way the negotiations have worked out at Mercedes."

Long before Hamilton finally signed on the dotted line, there was speculation over what was stalling proceedings, with some suggesting that Mercedes was to blame and others the world champion himself.

Everything we have heard however is that it was Hamilton who was keen that the deal should be for one year, not Mercedes.

Brundle claims that looking ahead to the coming season, Hamilton adopted Mercedes default 'underdog' position.

"I did say to him 'you're going to burst through 100 poles this year at some point, most likely' and he went 'why?'" reveals Brundle.

"'McLaren were a quarter of a second behind us in Abu Dhabi, now they've got our engine; what about Red Bull, maybe the high rake works; and don't count out Ferrari, and the Aston Martin will be strong'.

"He sort of really challenged me quite hard and I said 'well, you have got 98 of them, mostly in the hybrid era, you scored ten last year - there's half a chance you'll get two more this year'.

"But when we got over that little hurdle - because Lewis does love to poke you a little bit before you sit down to do stuff like that - I had an hour with him talking about that amazing race in Istanbul last year when he took his seventh world title and he was very generous on inside his head, inside his life of a grand prix weekend and how qualifying unfolds."

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Published: 09/03/2021
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