Lewis Hamilton wishes to complete the contract signing by Christmas, with Mercedes, even though the FIA F1 2021 entry list has his name already.
Though viewed as a foregone conclusion, the future of Hamilton with Mercedes is not yet contractually certified, despite a clearly expressed desire to further their partnership from both parties, throughout the COVID-19-affected 2020 F1 season.
Confidence in the matter is such that the FIA entry list for 2021 even names Hamilton as a Mercedes driver, alongside the already-contracted Valtteri Bottas. This is in spite of the lack of confirmation on the matter from the German F1 outfit.
They intended to begin contract negotiations after a seventh F1 championship was secured both for Hamilton and the team, a positive COVID-19 test for the Brit forced them to shelve the deep conversations after the initial talks they must have held post it.
After returning to the cockpit in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton said he hopes to finish discussions by December 25 or Christmas. “Hopefully over the next couple of weeks,” said Hamilton. “I would love – we would love to get it done before Christmas, I think.
“I plan to be here next year; I want to be here next year. I think us, as a team, have more to do together and more to achieve both in the sport but even more outside the sport I think. So yeah, I hope we can begin this week, discussions, and hopefully get it tied up before Christmas,” Hamilton said.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff insisted that there is no chance of the two splitting ways in a manner akin to that which Daniel Ricciardo left Red Bull in during 2018. “It is going to happen,” he said to media including Reuters, Motorsport Network, F1, Racefans.net and more. “There is no reason it shouldn’t happen now.
“We’ll have this conversation. We always said that we will do it after the title was won and then the virus delayed us for another 10 days, two weeks and now we just have to sit down, maybe virtually or maybe live,” Wolff restated, as he went on to add about his own future, where he simply noted to ‘watch this space’.
It is interesting that the FIA entry list already has Hamilton and Bottas, while a contract signing is still pending. The governing body doesn’t fill up the space themselves as it is on the teams to send, which is why both Red Bull and AlphaTauri has a ‘TBA’ against theirs.
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