Hamilton contract talks stall

The 2022 Formula One season saw the form guide spun on its head. Mercedes struggled all season to look competitive and finally scrapped a race win at the Sau Paulo GP – but with George Russell, not Lewis Hamilton. The British driver appeared to start the year with the events of Abu Dhabi 2021 clouding his mind as his new Mercedes team mate accelerated ahead of the British driver in the championship race.

In fact by the conclusion of the Azerbaijan GP back in June, Russell had scored 99 points to Hamilton’s 62.





Hamilton 1 year contract remains

Lewis Hamilton had signed a new 2 year deal with the Silver Arrows team though as the Mercedes W13 failed to make much impact on the Ferrari or Red Bull cars, rumours surfaced of Hamilton’s unhappiness and possible retirement.

Mercedes had a number of “false dawn” weekends where after qualifying the drivers and race track personnel were bullish over their hopes for the Grand Prix on Sunday.

Mexico City was one of those weekends where in Q3 Mercedes locked out P2 and P3 on the starting grid. Speaking to reporters after qualifying, Lewis Hamilton revealed, “I really, really don’t know what the next five years (hold). I think we’re still trying to work on that. There are a lot of great things being put in place, like I just launched a production company this week, but I feel great in my mind and body.

“I want to continue [in F1], I think there’s more stuff for us to achieve together so I want to be here longer.”



Multi year deal?

Hamilton mooted the idea he would be seeking a “multi year deal with my team.”

However, Hamilton’s modus operandi when negotiating contract extensions tends to se the British driver extract the most leverage he can with Mercedes by leaving it late in his current deal before agreeing a new one.

So from a physiological perspective it is interesting that Hamilton has been making noises about a new contract so early – almost as though he doesn’t want Mercedes to begin looking elsewhere as a back up should he decide to retire.



Do Mercedes need a competitive car to keep Lewis

Hamilton will begin 2023 as his 11th season with Mercedes with his current deal due to expire at the end of the year.

Formula One is currently on its winter break from on track action though it will be full steam ahead at the factories as the teams’ race to complete their cars for 2023. However, Toto Wolff admits to “Beyond the Grid podcast” his “job list is pretty long [before 2023].”

During the interview Wolff places a marker in the sand stating he is “absolutely confident” that Lewis Hamilton will formally extend his plans to stay in F1 as he and the team discuss a contract extension.

However, Wolff and Hamilton’s lack of urgency given it was Lewis who was keen to raise the spectre of another multi-year deal suggest the talks are not yet on track, if not stalled.



Wolff mixed messages

Wolff again adds to the speculation stating again by refusing to set a hard deadline. “But certainly Lewis’ contract is one of the topics that we will tackle over the winter, but there is no firm deadline.”

“Lewis is part of the team and the team is part of Lewis, [so there is] no reason to not continue.”

Mercedes struggled during the 2022 season and their final points tally were slightly flattering given Ferrari’s complete capitulation time and time again.

This was the first season Lewis Hamilton failed to chalk up a win since the Brit joined the sport in 2007. Yet Wolff believes this won’t dent the world champion’s desire. 

“I think one of his strengths is that he’s always hungry,” Wolff explained.

“He’s always eager. He is a great sportsman, but he’s also someone that’s extremely driven and determined.”

Mercedes were no where at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi and bar specific circuits where they always go well, the W13 appeared to be a long way behind the Red Bull and Ferrari’s in terms of one lap pace together with finishing regularly over half a minute behind the winner throughout the season.

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6 responses to “Hamilton contract talks stall

  1. ‘Contract stalls’ Oh no not again! It’s now happening every year, just to attract attention, get the Press hysterical & go “look at me, look at me”.
    Really boring.

  2. Lets have a little conversation about facts here “judge”

    It is widely known, admitted by the team, and reported in the media, but never mentioned by yourself, that Lewis was running different, some might even say experimental setups to George in the early part of the season, as they tried to get to grips with what had gone wrong with the design of the car. This accounts for the results differences

    Also, there is NOTHING in Toto’s conversation that even remotely alludes to talks having “stalled”, only your own assertion that fits your own narrative

    • Small nuance… “widely known” is also not very factual.

      Sidestep… what is your (and Judges) opinion about the possible move Suzie Wolff makes to Williams as team principle… Even more strings Toto can pull?

      • But “admitted by team” conversely, IS very factual. Cant recall exactly which one, but it was spoken about by them in their regular video updates IIRC

        Never followed FE really, so couldnt comment on Suzie’s abilities or successes as a TP

      • What was widely known was that, under the pretext of experiments, MB were trying to give him a car superior to that of Russell. When it did not work out, the lofty claim that Hamilton was making ‘sacrifices’! These guys will play politics even when visiting the restroom!

        It is well-known that Wolff makes statements without actually making them. People can never understand his motives until after it is too late. How he played on ‘driver safety’ and with FIA’s collusion, forced even those teams without a safety issue is a case in point.

        If Hamilton is Mercedes and Mercedes is Hamilton (Wolff’s words!), then why this annual charade about contract extension, that too now when there is still one year to run on the present contract? Should this discussion not be taking place in Dec 2023 or during the summer break?

        One cannot be blamed for thinking that this is on Hamilton’s initiative. If his performance in 2023 is the same as this year and he loses to Russell, then his the bosses at MB are unlikely to extend the contract in December 2023. Hamilton is aware of it and in this instance, Wolff is clearly unhappy to be led on a noose by Hamilton. Is it any surprise that talks are stalling?!

        As for Susie Wolf at Williams, you are right Duckey! We can be sure that Toto wants to have more strings that he can pull. In everything that kinky Wolff does, there is always an ulterior motive and an underhanded plot.

    • experimental setups at the beginning of the season are a red herring to explain things away, but they don’t fit with the reality that George outscored Lewis by 19 points in the second half of the season. George outscored Lewis by 16 points in the first half of the season.

      so your narrative doesn’t fit.

      There is nothing to back up this ‘experimental setups’ thing was hampering Lewis. that’s hogwash.

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