Will Lewis Hamilton extend at Mercedes? It’s the soap opera that makes headlines in Formula 1 – For a certain Bernie Ecclestone, all this waiting is calculated to make people talk, waiting for the right moment to reveal the decision taken.
With eight weeks to go before the start of the pre-season, Lewis Hamilton is still not fixed on his future, he who has been without a contract since the end of his last contract with Mercedes in June.
And of course, this wait only makes the situation worse, as there are numerous possibilities for the continuation of the career of the seven-time world champion. Extension, retirement, sabbatical year… Lewis Hamilton has the embarrassment of the choice and yet, everything could be already wrapped up since a long time ago.
At least that’s what Bernie Ecclestone, former Formula 1 boss, thinks. He is convinced that Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes would have already come to an agreement and would take advantage of the remaining time in this off-season to prolong the suspense.
According to the former Formula One boss, it is impossible that the various parties involved in the discussions for an extension have still not managed to reach an agreement after weeks and weeks of negotiations.
In the columns of the Swiss newspaper Blick, Bernie Ecclestone admits to thinking that Hamilton had already extended his contract with Mercedes but that they would postpone the date of the announcement to make headlines.
“It’s all a show about Lewis Hamilton’s extension, especially to keep the headlines going during these long, sad weeks! ”
So, prophetic feeling or simple media release, only the future will tell us. Certainly, F1 fans could probably have a decent flutter trying to work out if Hamilton will sort out his contract before it’s too late, using one of their favorite betting apps, which gives them the opportunity to pick the best bookmaker, without having to leave their house (not that anyone in the UK is allowed to go to a physical one these days!).
A former F1 driver thinks differently, however. Christijan Albers told De Telegraaf that he thinks the biggest problem for Hamilton’s current situation came in Bahrain late last season, when George Russell shone so brightly in his Mercedes while the 36-year-old had covid-19.
“George Russell literally and figuratively shattered Hamilton’s plan,” Albers said when explaining why he thinks Lewis Hamilton’s plan to boost his financial and influential power at Mercedes has been backfired.
Another former F1 driver, Arturo Merzario, agrees.
“Perhaps he believed that a substitute would have a harder time than the high level that Russell showed in Sakhir,” he told the Italian publication Sportal.
Eddie Jordan, the former team boss and current Formula 1 pundit certainly would be telling Hamilton where to go saying he would make the 7 time F1 Champion walk if it were up to him in charge of Mercedes.
According to Crash, Jordan thinks Lewis ought to be shown the door saying:
“If I were the boss of Daimler, I would show him the door: Either you drive on our terms or you go. I would also tell him what Bernie Ecclestone said after Ayrton Senna’s death:
“Even if Bernie was shocked and sad like everyone else, he was the first to regain his composure and said to us: ‘Now stop whining: Everybody is replaceable.’ Lewis should know that by now.”
With the season delayed, there will no doubt be further delay to Formula 1 fans knowing if Hamilton ends up re-signing a contract, or ‘resigning’.