The Formula 1 grid is practically complete since the signing of Mexican Checo Pérez with Red Bull became official, after being left out of the Aston Martin project (formerly Racing Point), and only one place remained to be defined, that of Lewis Hamilton with Mercedes.
After winning his seventh title in Formula 1, the British renewal with the German team (although based in Great Britain) seemed to be done, however, the steering wheel has not signed, so that Valtteri Bottas is the only driver of the team, and there is a free seat.
Hamilton explained at the time that he would begin to negotiate the renewal of his contract with Mercedes once the season was over, but so far, there is no renewal … or is it?
Why has Hamilton not signed?
Some indicate that the team does not fully accept the British midfielder’s conditions, who wants a contract of at least three years and a salary of 50 million dollars per season.
In addition to this, the steering wheel would have asked for a percentage of the prizes that Formula 1 gives Mercedes for winning the constructors’ championship and an AMG One, one of the most expensive Mercedes cars, as a gift. The team, on the other hand, is looking for a shorter contract and discards the gift.
What if it does not renew?
The deadline for negotiations is March 1. By that date, Formula 1 must have all the drivers’ records, and in case of not reaching an agreement, the vacant place would be for George Russell, who races for Williams, but is part of the Mercedes academy.
Russell has already raced with Mercedes at the Sakhir Grand Prix, after Hamilton tested positive for coronavirus.
Russell is said to be one of the issues for which Hamilton has not renewed, as he wishes to have Valtteri Bottas as a partner for longer, and the Finn only renewed for a year.
What is said about the renovation
The team sparked speculation with a publication of a pen and an enigmatic message. “You never know when one of these might come in handy … for designing cars, taking notes, and signing things.
Bernie Ecclestone, the former head of F1, assured that the renewal is already signed. “It’s all just a show for Lewis, in particular, to stay in the headlines during these sad weeks.”