Delay over Hamilton’s new Mercedes contract not about his salary – Domenicali

2021 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton’s salary demands are unlikely to be the sticking point in his negotiations with Mercedes over a new contract to drive for them, according to new F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.

With 35 days to go until the first test session of the 2021 F1 season, the seven-times world champion is yet to confirm he will occupy the only remaining vacant seat on the grid. Domenicali, who took over in charge of F1 from Chase Carey at the beginning of the year, hopes the sport’s star driver agrees terms with Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff soon.

“I’m not in Lewis’s head and not even in Toto’s position,” said Domenicali. “But he has to take an important decision for his life.

“I really hope that we can have this announcement soon because what he is going to fight for this year is something that, for the sporting perspective, is incredible. I can imagine the pressure and the dynamic of how he wants to reach this new record because that would be an incredible story to tell.”

Hamilton, who turned 36 this month, is going into his 15th season as a Formula 1 driver. Domenicali suspects he “wants to understand a lot of points related to his future” and doubts money is the key issue at stake with Mercedes.

“I think that they are discussing a lot of points. I don’t think that is only a point related to his salary or whatever you call it. I think it’s really more related to what they have in mind to share together in the future. I think that’s the reason why.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2020
Why hasn’t Hamilton signed a new Mercedes deal yet? There’s a few million reasons
“But maybe they are not in a rush because they have already decided it’s all OK. We never know. But for me, it would be really good to see as soon as we have the announcement Lewis with the energy that he has been always giving to F1. And I’m sure that will be.”

If he does continue with Mercedes, Hamilton could break the record of most world championship victories, set by Michael Schumacher in 2004.

“He is an incredible driver,” said Domenicali. “He’s an incredible man. He’s an incredible athlete. And he’s given to Formula 1 a different dimension that is over the sport, I would say.

“Therefore, as soon as we will know what will be his future, I think that it would be great to see him fighting for something that no one would have thought possible to achieve after Michael leaving.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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71 comments on “Delay over Hamilton’s new Mercedes contract not about his salary – Domenicali”

  1. If we have to believe some sites it’s the ability (or veto) who is in the second seat. And the name Max Verstappen was the one who Lewis didn’t want next to him.
    Interesting but guessing until Toto or Lewis comes fort with their stories.

    1. @macleod Teams choose their drivers, not drivers themselves, so why should any driver get a direct influence on this matter I don’t get.

      1. @jerejj Ofcourse but history says some drivers ccould have things in there contracts which prevent a certain second driver (Alonso had something like this after McLaren)
        Or Lewis doesn’t want Max.. or George next him or it\s all fiction. Max and Lewis would be to expensive together but Lewis and George?

        And this rumour is getting harder certain sources are coming with this.

        @coldfly I would like also the lineup Max Lewis but i don’t think that isn’t going to happen. Even Mercedes couldn’t pay them both (Max said he would drive for free if needed) so Lewis could doing this because Max is nuts enough… BUT this is not me saying this you hear things, some site and seems Damon Hill are coming with this.

        1. @macleod the problem is, how many of those “sources” are actually independent sources though?

          From inspecting the various different sites that are making such claims, it appears that almost all of them admit that they’re just repeating what Autosport Web claims – a Japanese publisher which, I would wager, nobody here would have heard of until now and are probably very unlikely to look at again any time soon.

          However, it is worth noting that Autosport Web itself appears to be suggesting that their story is supposedly taken from another site (F1 Bulletin). It therefore appears that the supposed “source” that most websites are claiming was their source for the story did not undertake any independent verification either, but instead is simply reprinting a claim that it saw elsewhere.

          It suggest that what is actually happening, as with a lot of other stories in F1, is that one site has run with the story and, as Dieter noted in one of his articles on this site, there have been a host of other sites that have then copied and pasted the story onto their sites in order to generate clicks and headlines.

          Over time, that then spreads to a wider range of sites further up the chain repeating the same story, and at that point the site gains a certain momentum as those sites then repeat the story back and forth to each other – particularly if, over time, the original source is gradually forgotten and people then associate it with those other sites, giving the story an apparent sheen of veracity.

          It is perhaps fitting that you bring up Alonso and the claims he “supposedly” had veto rights as well – because it was claimed back in 2012 that he was supposedly vetoing the idea of Hamilton joining Ferrari, right up until the moment that Hamilton signed for Mercedes. Noticeably, claims of Alonso’s veto rights went quiet after that – there were claims that Alonso was not that happy about Ferrari appointing Kimi to drive alongside him, but it appears that either Alonso forgot about the veto power he supposedly had, or maybe, just maybe, that veto right never actually existed in the first place…

      2. @jerejj high-profile drivers have had an influence over who their teammate will be for a while – when Senna was at Lotus he vetoed the team’s choice – Derek Warwick, I believe – as he didn’t want anyone even remotely competitive alongside him. Enter Johnny Dumfries.

      3. @jerejj It’s already in Hamilton’s old contract that he is to be consulted about team mate, and with BFF Lauda and superfan Wolff, it was practically the same as a veto right:

        Of course Lauda is gone and Wolff’s power diminished with Daimler’s sellout and Zetcshe replaced, so it’s not even sure the clause will be included in the new contract, and even if it was, it’s meaning would be token.

        1. @balue Discuss does not mean veto.

          Of course they will discuss with Hamilton. As Wolff put it:

          “We make this type of choice solely on the basis of team interests. But Lewis has been with us for a long time, so, I submitted our narrow list to him, asking for his opinion and he thinks exactly like us, both of them deserve to be his teammate for him.”

          And more specific on whether Alonso would be an option:

          “you also need to have the right circumstances and because we don’t want to repeat of what happened when two were together at McLaren,”

          So it does make sense that Wolff will not be keen to hire toxic drivers like Verstappen or Alonso apparently.

    2. That’s just pure rumours & I’m surprise Damon Hill amplified it tbh, Lewis has always said he’s open to anyone & nor would Merc & Toto ever allow their driver decisions to be taken out their hands. Everyone knows Russel is set for 2022 unless Bottas pulls a miracle. This happens every 2 years with Hamiltons contract renewals, he gets the most clikcbait headlines due to his exposure to F1 fans & the mainstream globally.

      1. Lewis has always said he’s open to anyone

        I have a bridge for sale.

        1. Yup, if he was open to anyone, his old contract wouldn’t stipulate that he has to be consulted. I only know two things are for sure – he hasn’t signed a contract yet and there’s a reason for that.

    3. As much as I’d like to see a Lewis-Max lineup, it’s extremely unlikely.
      Which team can afford the sum of both salaries? And even then will there be sufficient payback in WCC standing and marketing uptick?

      1. Max is very populair in Germany speaks German so Mercedes would love to have him.

  2. I wonder if they could get Rosberg back on the cheap? I know he quit but if he does not have to beat Hamilton, but was closer to Hamilton than Bottas is, then a second world championship is a realistic possibility.

    1. @Sam He doesn’t have a valid super license anymore since it expired at the end of 2019 due to him not having driven in a single F1 race over three full consecutive years. To get it valid again, he’d have to drive an F1 car for at least 300 km at proper racing speeds.

      1. Would pre-season testing be enough for that?

        Still unlikely to happen.

        1. @AdamG Yes.

    2. You forget that they are driving cars five or six seconds a lap faster than 2016

      It is my firm belief Nico knew full well from simulation it would take far more than he could give to ever be in such a position again luck reliability or otherwise.

      After such a layoff no chance.

      Shumi came back to much slower cars and crap tyres…


    3. I think if Hamilton not signs, they will buy Russell out, and Williams finds a driver easily. I hope that driver will be Shwartzman or Ilott.

      But I think Hamilton will sign. If not then he seriously reevaluated his life in the pandemic era. I do’t think that a great sportsman like him woul not take up the challenge having Russell in the other seat (that would be appropriate to his fellow countryman, instead of letting him be iced for not just 3 but 4 years – but what if Hamilton wants such opposition and Mercedes wants a more manageable situation, so the opposite of suspected by most?), while having pairings at a championship contender team like Hamilton and Verstappen, or Leclerc, or Senna and Prost is not favourized by team managers quite long ago. Although comparably competitve pairings are ok at the second or third or fourth best team imo, if they can’t yet compete for the championsip title. These guys are all about winning, so likely they will not care too much when they are in the top of the midifeld and sometimes they have to obey team orders, so it’s easier at a bit weaker team, especially if it’s about beating a better one.

      Not signing and saying goodbye would be quite humble with 7 titles, but if I were Hamilton I would go for a 8th or a 9th, unless I’m very unhappy with something, and I hope he will continue for some years, because it would be nice to see him against this new quite good generation. As a Schumacher fan at Schumi’s days, with 8 titles I would likely choose Hamilton as the greates of all time, and some more achievenments even if he will not win a 9th, because he was a cleaner racer, without malign incidents. It’s still a hard pick for me, as Schumacher had more opposition from other teams, while Hamilton had better teammates. But the clean racing, and nice off track acts are very nice form Hamilton and worths a lot for me.

      Verstappen at Mercedes (or the actual top team) is not unlikely, but imo only later, as a first driver, if he keeps up proving himself. Imo beating Perez (who is one of my top favourites), would be a decent step on the ladder, based on which the spectators evaluate him. Although I hope Perez will do well, and even if he loses soundly, will have better results than Gasly or Albon. I not just hope but also expect that. The qualifying gap is so bug at Verstappen vs his teamates, that it’s hard to explain, so I don’t think he has to consume 5 teammates before getting a top drive, or at least that would perfectly show the sad truth about how scarce and hard to earn top drives are at current F1. That even can be impossible for “many” similar drivers in the future, so imo it would be better to frequently reevaluate and change the tech rules in the future by an independent comitte, instead of participants having too much words on it.

      Would not that be fair, more sportsmanlike, more healthy instead of having super long series, so do we want to see only a few champions during our lifetime, or diversity would be better? Engineering-wise developing for much less, having a much lower cost cap is not that awful as it sounds. Good things are not necessarily pricy or complex, they are often very simple (after being invented by someone).

      Yes, likely a lot of innovations were invented or reinvented at F1 historically, and because of that F1 is said to be the pinnacle or car factories do it to use it in their adverts. Probably it’s actually appoaching the same thing from the other direction (compared to the irection way before): they developed nice things in the past (often while having scarce funds, often by a handful of enthusiasts), and therefore they had the opportunity to use the nice results as adverts.

      1. … The qualifying gap is so huge at Verstappen vs his teamates …

    4. Rosberg was not closer to Hamilton than Bottas was. Hamilton had more technical issues which mean that Rosberg could win easy races when Hamilton was out of the picture. While currently Bottas has the brunt of the technical issues and that makes him only fall further back.

      Besides, Rosberg had it much easier with a more dominant car. Since 2017 there hasn’t been a big gap between the cars as it was before.

  3. I always thought the new “spending cap” might have a say on saleries to everyone throughout the business,
    but i guess that’s meant to encourage less spending in R&D or something.

    Maybe Hamilton wants shares or a controlling interest in the company, or he wants quotas on employess, or he wants less time on promotions, or or or …

    We can only speculate on the causes but i don’t know why this has been dragged out to this extent. Covid or no Covid this should have been settled already.

  4. It’s always been a formality & only hyped as he gets easy headlines for journos looking for clicks in off season. Important to consider that Ineos only took over late last year so negotiations can hardly be fruitful when you don’t know who you’re negotiating with. it could be whole array of things from Free Project One car, which WDC he keeps/trophies, future engagements with Merc/ F1 team, electric stuff, diversity drive & especially things like image rights & share of revenue which Lewis wants as he brings heaps of his money to the table he doesn’t get to keep & exposure he wants to monetise. The last thing anyone who knows their worth would do is want to be underpaid & as ever with Lewis he could always pursue his other interests outside F1 that he enjoys that still pay well. I reckon he wants a 2 year deal like he normally does but this time his team is hesitant due to new driver wage cap he would face in 2 years if he wants to extend, Hence drawn out process of getting his worth now, anticipating the future & getting his image rights/paid by his own sponsors.

  5. Is Domenicali actually involved in these talks, because I get the distinct impression that Mr Domenicali is full of the brown stuff?

    1. He hears things @aapje from his network that is how things going around in that circuit.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        5th February 2021, 15:58

        Sure but the same applies to Eddie Jordan and we know how often his “information” turns out to be true…

      2. @macleod

        The things that go around in that circuit are also baseless rumors and intentional misinformation.

    2. @aapje Well Wolff and Hamilton have said the delay isn’t about salary a few times already, so he has a good source.

  6. Even other team took a shorter time to discuss, negotiate and announce a new driver signing than Mercedes with Hamilton now.

  7. My experience with negotiations is they are normally straight forward when both parties are acting normal. Normal, and ideally reasonable.

    It’s seems to me at least one party must have taken an abnormal position. RaceFans reported they were nearly 300% apart.

    The problem is one intractable party there isn’t much that can be done If Mercedes decided they don’t want to pay superstar compensation then Hamilton will probably have to walk away. If Hamilton is unwilling to work for less than superstar x 2 then Merc is going to walk away.

    Since the deal hasn’t been reached I’m concerned it won’t be. That is unfortunate, because an F1 without Hamilton won’t be the same.

    1. Stephen Robertson
      6th February 2021, 15:51

      Youre right it wouldn’t be the same. It would be Better! Sick of his Ego, his Demands & his blm rubbish!

  8. I doubt the veto rumour has any truth to it. There’s nothing in Hamilton’s history that suggests he’d be scared of any opponent, and has always seemed to welcome a challenge to push himself forward. Bottas hasn’t been as much as a challenge for him as hoped, but it has enabled a perfect team dynamic for several years, so I’m sure it was Mercedes who were most interested in having Bottas in the second seat.

    Assuming the team plans to stick around in F1, a great future path for them might be:

    2021 – Lewis & Valtteri
    2022 – Lewis & George
    2023 – Max & George

    If Lewis scared of George Russell, at this point in his career, I’d have a lot less respect for him. George is a very promising driver, but he isn’t an obvious standout amongst a very talented group of peers around his age in F1.

    1. I’m dubious of this claim too.

      Hamilton has had previous contracts, and I’ve not heard any of those were exceptional. For example his last contract was rumored to be a little less than Vettel’s Ferrari contract. Which seems pretty reasonable.

      But we know Daimler’s management has changed. And we know the value of each of the major stakeholders in the Mercedes team have changed.

      It seems the most likely problem is that Mercedes new management or another of the team’s stakeholders has taking an unworkable position.

      1. Or they are just using this opportunity to remind Lewis he is only another employee.

        #Employee contracts matter

        1. But he’s not just another employee. He’s a brand.

          Consider if Godiva was negotiating with a major grocery store chain. The grocery store chain says “if you want to be on our shelves you’ll lower your prices to the same as Cadbury, and you’ll get equivalent shelf exposure.”

          Godiva would refuse the offer, because their whole image is that of a premium brand, and to accept that offer would diminish the brand.

          The difference with Hamilton is he is a person, who does not have to work.

          Mercedes simply cannot bully him into driving at a bargain price. If he decides it is too detrimental to his image he can walk away.

          1. But then Godiva has all those other Stores, not to mention direct to customer online stores, and direct to customer advertising, and youtube influencers ,, etc etc..

            Hamilton needs Mercedes as much as Mercedes needs him. If he walks, there’s how he would be remembered, where legacy is just about the only real currency going. It would be one ugly way to end an era, that’s for sure, but it would be just another story.

            Those on the side lines with an axe to grind would spin this out as ‘bad Lewis, Greedy Lewis’, [to add a whole new spin to GOAT]. There would be no end of rumors for those with nothing but time on their hands.

            Hamilton may not need to work, but he does want to be remembered favourably.

            ** sorry Lewis just waiting on that contract to be signed.

  9. Just to stirr the soup a little…

    Hamilton had no real reason to drive again last year after the Covid symptoms.

    WCC and WDC were all in the bag already. He misses one race and Russell drives like he owns that car.

    So, instead of taking care of himself he decides to come back just to drive a car with the engine turned down.

    That makes no sense for an 7x WDC that makes 40mi and has nothing more to prove…

    Or has he?

    1. Any real driver would return asap if they could, That’s the hunger & drive of these guys its ‘their seat’, they’re competitive af. Also I’m sure Lewis wanted to see the year out & probably risked loosing a few million as I’m sure the big drivers get paid race by race hence the tax status. He’s clear on wanting to drive in the new regs & have some competition cause even he wouldn’t have the pressure as a 8 time champ by then. Just collecting the £ & having fun, Also doubt he’d retire during OOVID where he wouldn’t get a send off/see fans, All the more reason to stay

      1. This is very likely Lewis’ last contract before he retires, so there’s a lot resting on it.
        History extendes even to contracts. The best, the biggest, the lousiest?

    2. Only Facts!, you say that it doesn’t make much sense, but then again, we have also seen drivers who similarly have little else to gain doing things that seem just as counter intuitive.

      After all, it also makes no sense for drivers to continue racing when they are so violently ill with food poisoning that they end up vomiting inside their own helmet, but we have seen several drivers do just that – Webber and Ocon are two who come to mind.

      Does it make sense for a driver to go racing, even though they’re having to have emergency dental surgery just before the race occurs due to an infection? Enter Tiago Monteiro – Colin Kolles, as a former dentist, performed emergency root canal surgery on Monteiro himself ahead of the Turkish GP so he could race. For good measure, there is an indication that, because it was on the day of the race itself, Monteiro had to have that surgery undertaken without anaesthetic (because the after effects of the anaesthetic could have impaired his ability to drive).

      We have had drivers race in Formula 1 with a semi-paralysed arm (Jean-Pierre Beltoise), we have had drivers race with broken bones (Webber, Mansell), we have had drivers racing with major after effects from concussion injuries (Piquet Sr, Perez), we have had drivers race with partially healed vertebrae (Alesi and Lehto) and so on.

      Now, in a lot of those cases, did it make sense for those drivers to continue racing in that condition? Quite often, a logical person would have said no – but logic didn’t enter into the picture for a lot of those drivers.

      1. Agree on the desire to race. But disagree on Hamilton’s case.

        Not a rookie looking for a better seat, not a driver fighting for points, not a champion looking for records.

        He had all that. Plus he had Covid. And only 10 days passed.

        I can only make sense of it if he didn’t want Russell to drive again. Or Wolff advise him to race for some reason.

        1. Only Facts!, even though it was only about a year earlier that Hamilton took part in a race where he was ill enough that the team were looking at replacing him with Ocon?

          Sometimes, I wonder if the whole image of Machiavellian plotting that the sport puts out means that there is often a tendency to want to see something below the surface that isn’t there (i.e. that there is a belief that there must always be some hidden secret).

  10. Bottas is at Merc to placate Hamilton whether it’s formally in his contract or not.

    I’m sure now he wants something iron clad where he vetoes the second driver. Verstappen or Russell in the second seat could destroy his legacy in a matter of a few races much like Leclerc destroying Vettel’s at Ferrari.

    No-one in their right mind could claim that Bottas is worthy of driving that Mercedes. He was nearly beaten by Verstappen in a far inferior car. Russell beat him comfortably within 48 hours of getting into the ill-fitting cockpit set up for Hamilton. Bottas, like Rosberg has shown next to now racecraft at Mercedes. Russell showed more racecraft in one race than Rosberg and Bottas combined at Mercedes.

    RBR put Albon under pressure to perform. Bottas is under no pressure to perform despite age, experience.

    Mercedes could have gone for any number of drivers at the end of 2016, but they went with the guy that wasn’t much faster than a Felipe Massa 7 years past his best and never the same driver since his accident.

  11. A smart Mercedes takes care of its greatest public relations image through financial compensation whether it be cashola or stocks or things like this.

    Losing Lewis and the damage that will cause to Mercedes could very expensive overall. The image of that kind of stupidity by Mercedes will be hard to overcome.

    Why not just celebrate this extraordinary individual who has fulfilled his contract like NO OTHER HUMAN HAS BEFORE. If the value to profit ratio is considered it’s a no brainer

    The Top notch get their image on the front of a prominent cereal box here in America. That’s a goal for Lewis to achieve also.

    Good enough for Corn Flakes then good enough for Mercedes

    Cut the crap Mercedes cut the crap Lewis

    1. Why not just celebrate this extraordinary individual who has fulfilled his contract like NO OTHER HUMAN HAS BEFORE

      Schumacher won 5 in a row without anything like the car advantages Hamilton has had.

      And let’s not forget 2016. Didn’t fulfill his contract that year you could say.

      1. Ah yes, we see the usual Dean F post where he gets triggered by the notion that Hamilton has dared to transgress on the territory of a strangely whitewashed Schumacher.

        What’s the real cause behind such angst? Why does it really upset you so much? Is it one of those things that you can’t explain, or is it just that you won’t?

    2. What damage to Mercedes?
      Winning less races? Bottas or Russell will also win the races in 2021.
      Sell less cars? I doubt many luxobarges are sold because the F1 results. Especially in Europe Mercedes needs to make more EV’s to sell, and these have nothing in common with F1.

      If doubt the problem in the contract negotiations is about who can be the other driver for 2021 or 2022 because that’s the last worry for Mercedes.
      I think it’s about the money. When Mercedes needs to layoff 10.000 employees the actual damage to Mercedes (and Hamilton!) when they would pay Lewis what he is asking would be very big: strikes, image loss, etc.
      1 minute of 1 line not working in a car factory costs at least 50.000€, VW says it’s 13 million $/hour. Do you think workers to be laid off will not go on strike when they hear Mercedes agreed to Lewis’s financial demands,?

      1. In North America, the image of F1 may be lustrous, but it is very dim and small in the grand scheme of things.
        Sir Lewis could come to the US and like Michael Schumacher before him, walk around in Hollywood Ca and no one would think him any more special than any other tourist.
        The Brand impact here whether he drives for Mercedes, drives for someone else or doesn’t drive, is likely to be minimal.
        In Canada, it seems that Mercedes is selling off dealerships, and not likely the new owners would appreciate or expect any impact from whatever driving suit Lewis wears.

  12. Lewis is probably arguing the case, he doesn’t want to be the first reigning world champion to take a pay cut.
    Whilst Mercedes is saying something like, don’t blaim us, blaim the FIA and this new cap on spending, besides it not like you had to race a full season last year, and this season already going to be cut.

    or could it be the fine print on pay percentage per races completed.

    ** wer’re only joking Lewis.

    1. We’re in an economic crisis, the sport has adopted spending caps, Russell jumped into the Merc and showed he could do Hamilton’s job in a car no set up in any way for him.

      Hamilton had his chance to lock away this contract earlier.

      He’s got no leverage at all. Merc is his only option and any driver would jump at the chance to win a certain championship in 2021.

      1. Indeed: no leverage at all.
        Just the same as workers in factory that have to accept a pay cut to avoid layoffs. Only difference is that Lewis can take a sabbatical or even retire with his millions in a tax haven

        1. Except Daimler literally don’t even pay anything into Merc team anymore as its breakeven & due to turn a profit for the group, Plus they are minorty holders now owning only 1/3 so there’s little pressure on their board. 2/3 holders are private investors like ineos who have said Lewis is worth the money & partly why they invested with the exposure he has, Ineos had a booming year during COVID so the opposite applies. Bigger point is he wants more control of his image rights so he can be paid directly from the money he brings instead of just wages, That’s not just guess work but stuff he’s spoken about before. Lewis brings a huge commercial sponsor pakacage with him, both exclusive sponsors like Tommy/Police/Bose & more but all other sponsors also pay premium when he is racing, That money leaves if Lewis does, Not a simple case of he costs us $40m a year so throw in a guy on $5m after paying millions to buy him out when Russel is free in 2022 anyway

          1. Try telling that to the workers upset about losing their jobs and seeing Lewis pocketing millions.
            The team has Mercedes in its name for a reason.

  13. And let’s not forget Bahrain, and Grosjean. That incident must be a factor in the background, maybe subconciously Hamilton is looking for a reason to walk away from the sport, and now he’s waiting for that decision to be made for him.

  14. Hamilton is easily the most famous F1 driver of his era on and off track. But if he decides to get out, F1 will survive and it will move on. I don’t think he will be going at this point but as most would agree this will be his last contract as a driver. Going to upset a couple of people with this but I don’t think any one driver will fill his shoes as there are several very good drivers most of them young and still maturing. We will get to see some great rivalries over the next ten years or so which is the better outcome I think.

    1. Like Shumacher, Hamilton has come to a point where he has nothing left to prove.
      Last season Hamilton says he was motivated by the BLM campaign. I’m left wondering without such issues, does Hamilton still has the same hunger for the sport. This sport demands a fearless ambition as a key componant of the driver’s character.

      Last season we had the Grosjean crash, Hamilton didnt drive the next race due to “covid”. The next race was the last race of the season, he was slower, below par for him. This may have been due to Mercedes saving an older engine, or it could be he was driving well within himself following Bahrain.

      If Hamilton still had the goal of becoming the greatest i have no doubt he would continue, but now he’s done it.
      What else is there to motivate him?

      1. I meant to post this one :

        Formula 1 Driver Wins Ranking 1950-2019

      2. Ajaxn Going on what he’s said in the recent past he would like to hang around and give the next gen F1 cars a go. Also I would imagine that equalling Schumacher will not be quite enough and he will have to start favourite for the championship this year.

      3. He’s not the greatest driver just cause he has more wins!

        As far as I’m concerned schumacher is still stronger cause he had more serious opposition as a whole across his career, yes, his team mates were bottas-like, but he had more competitive opponent teams with good drivers.

        Even if you believe hamilton is stronger than schumacher there’s no way in hell to say he’s stronger than fangio: fangio drove 51 races and won 24, it wasn’t mathematically possible to win 100 races or so at the time, and if you make a projection of the % fangio would probably have like 150 wins, let’s add clark and ascari to the picture.

        1. Hamilton’s teammates only seem relatively stronger because he fails to beat them by big margins.

          Schumacher’s teammates seem relatively weaker because he beat them by big margins.

          Same applies to Verstappen now.

          Fact is Bottas couldn’t keep up with the substitute driver.

          1. About those big margins.

            Did shumacher have to save his engines. Was he penalised for update and replacement engines.

            In other words there are restrictions now which weren’t a factor in Shumacher’s day. So yes he could afford to drive all out and not worry about the long term. He could afford to think only of number one.

            Hamilton on the other hand has to be shrewed. He does enough to win, sometimes he’ll push the car when he doesn’t have to, but most times he’ll drive efficently with the longer term view in mind. The same goes for
            Hamilton’s consideration for the rest of his team.

  15. We all know why. He said it himself. He feels for all those who lost their earnings due to the pandemics and this is all because of his humility and selflessness. Sure, it’s not about the money, this way or the other, I’d never dare to think that. Maybe he wants a new challenge and tries to win himself a drive at Williams or Torro Rosso (Alpha whatever).

    1. The only real Challenge will be Hamilton going head to head with a younger fitter driver, in the same team with the same engine.

      That though will bring with it the chores of the Rosberg era, with garages competing, in-house shenanagans, and a bitter tastes to the sport. I’m sure Hamilton would want to avoid all that for his final years in the sport.

      Its this point more than any other which i believe is stalling this final contract with Mercedes.. Hamilton would i’m sure like to bow out with Bottas as his wing man. Mercedes for reasons of continuity would have other ideas in mind for those remaining years.

      1. Guess this really makes sense, russel would be good to replace hamilton as soon as he leaves as a number 1, and there’s the grid full of number 2 drivers who wouldn’t mind getting a few race wins at mercedes.

    2. If he doesn’t want money then just sign the contract.

  16. Thought all the Hamilton experts on Racefans told us the delay was all down to Hamilton’s greed for more money?
    And Damon Hill – how can a person of his stature in the sport push those rumours he’s been peddling on Twitter? What’s going on there??

  17. Its going to be about the message he can put on his uniform, and on the car.

  18. Damned is he gets away with a high salary. Damned if he doesn’t. Damned if he capitalized the best car in recent years. Damned if he didn’t . Damned if he voiced BLM. Damned if he didn’t. Sometimes F1 is a nice bubble to live in. It is a business that resembles a sport. Rich kids. Rich dads. Rich sponsors and rich teams. Everybody trying to get a cut out of it. Why Hamilton wouldn’t get its cut? Not his fault to stick to Mercedes and deliver. Imagine that Vettel were in Mercedes and Hamilton in Ferrari. Would had Vettel got the same results as Hamilton?. Perhaps we would be talking about the miracles done and the living legend that Hamilton at Ferrari would be.

    1. @f180 We would more than likely be talking about Vettel’s incredible double digit championship count.

  19. Suggestion for Sir Lewis.
    Get into the plant and see how big they are making the tub for the 2021 chassis.
    Should it be the same size as last year, ya got-em over a barrel. Hold Fast.
    If it is now big enough for Geroge R. , watch yer step and keep the negotiation going.

  20. Why is this Domenicali’s business?

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