Mercedes HQ blocking Hamilton deal

At the Spanish Grand Prix Mercedes boss Toto Wolff claimed he would most likely be announcing in Montreal that Lewis Hamilton had signed his new driving contract with Mercedes. Wolff appears to have lost control of this process since he first declared in January it would take a “few hours” to resolve before the “white smoke” signalled a deal had been completed.

Hamilton’s management team then ‘leaked’ a report to Fortune in February suggesting Lewis was looking for a minimum two year deal with his current £20m a year bonus for winning a world championship converted into guaranteed remuneration.


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The most surprising aspect of the report was the intention from Hamilton to become a Mercedes brand ambassador for a guaranteed ten years for a reputed £22m a year.

Then during a feature on Sky F1 where Hamilton took a “lie detector test”, Simon Lazenby asked him whether he would stay in F1 until he claimed the fabled eight world championship. Lewis replied “Yes” and was deemed by the moderator to be telling the truth.

It is highly unlikely Mercedes will be able to offer Hamilton a car capable of achieving the historic with title until at least 2026 when the next big rule change from the FIA begins.

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Mercedes only offering 1 year deal

This fits with Lewis’ five year timeline he suggested back in Austin last year.

Yet the Sun newspaper recently reported Mercedes were only prepared to consider a one year deal for Hamilton which would free them up to approach Charles Leclerc next year as his Ferrari contract comes to an end.

Of course Mercedes’ can dress up their one year offer as a two yer deal with options. In effect this is a guaranteed one year with both parties allowed to opt in to a second year if they so wish.

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Brand ambassador role creating problems

However this is a far cry from the deal Hamilton was hoping to broker.

Yet the real sticking point to the contract is an impossible demand being made by Hamilton’s side of the negotiations. This is the ten year brad ambassador role Lewis is seeking from Mercedes.

Only the board Stuttgart, the HQ of Mercedes road car manufacturing operations, can agree to this and it appears there is no appetite for this kind of financial spend.

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Has Hamilton lost his hunger?

Mercedes now own just one third of the F1 team and could easily sell their share and the team be renamed by the new owners during the next decade.

Further despite being a profitable outfit, for the Mercedes F1 team to commit to a ten year ambassador deal worth up to $300m dollars is a stretch by anyone’s imagination.

Lewis Hamilton’s team may believe he does not have the hunger that Fernando Alonso has now in his 41st year. Alonso has spent his life chasing the elusive third world title while Hamilton has cruised to a number of his during the years when Mercedes F1 crushed all before them.



Stuttgart CEO involved in discussions

Hamilton revealed in Montreal that his new contract was now in all probability another month away and F1 driver Ralph Schumacher believes this is because of the nature of Hamilton’s demands.

Now Mercedes CEO, Ola Kallenius, who is based in Stuttgart has been drawn into the matter.

“Lewis will not drive forever,” Schumacher told Sport1, “but he wants to stay connected to his motorsport home Mercedes after his career as well.

“However, Toto Wolff cannot negotiate such a long-term contract. That is Kallenius’ area of responsibility. That’s why it can still take a while yet.”

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Hamilton admits not just a “driver contract”

As TJ13 reported it is the ‘impossible’ demand of the brand ambassador role his team cannot guarantee and Lewis confirmed this in Montreal.

“It’s more complicated than usual because it’s not just a simple driver contract,” Hamilton revealed to assembled press.

Given the 6 months Leis Hamilton’s new contract has been under negotiation there is clearly a problem which only the Mercedes board in Stuttgart can approve and the extensive delay would suggest they are not prepared to sanction Hamilton’s demand.

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10 responses to “Mercedes HQ blocking Hamilton deal

  1. Ola Kallenius will never agree to this. He is a shrewd business man, and a great chairman, and will not waste this kind of money, when they can use it on other projects. They have achieved what they wanted to concerning ad spend.

    • As usual, this site takes a few one line comments that would struggle to fill a haiku – In this case, comments of the ‘contracts are complicated, it takes time to work out the details’, ‘we won’t discuss what those details are’ and ‘we’re not worried, it will get done’ type – throws them in a blender and pours out a theory that isn’t supported by the evidence. Toto and Lewis say the same thing(s) every weekend, and every time a contract needs renewing, it always gets done without any stress, both are always happy with the result, and no details of the contracts ever gets out.

      I keep swearing off this site but then it pops up in my Google News feed and I get tempted by a headline that I should know is pure speculation. I should just block it and be done with it once and for all.

  2. Pingback: Mercedes HQ blocking Hamilton deal·

  3. As I suspected Lewis is just being plain greedy to finance external projects. Why should Mercedes….? Ridiculous

  4. Personally I can’t see why Mercedes Benz would want anything to do with hamilton? Not only is george a better driver, but charles, lando and alonso would be faster in the same machinery!

    Therefore, nothing wrong with the headline, MB would not waste that ridiculous amount of money.

  5. I am amazed at ScottyPH49’s knowledge about F1 and the current drivers..such people should keep their mouth shut if their understanding of F1 is not even a teaspoonful..

  6. As I have argued here multiple times before, MB should get rid of LH. The man has an ego, bigger than the brand and is a liability.

    10 year ambassador… !?
    What is he going to do for those 20 mln a year? A few talkshows, a demonstration race and a commercial? After 2 years nobody gives a shit anymore about this guy.

    Pls Mercedes, be wise and drop this attentionwhore as soon as possible.

    • As always, Duckey’s comments here make the most sense. Like me, he does not dislike Hamilton as a driver, only his posturing. It is mind boggling that a human being could be so egregious, with nary a redeeming quality.
      Some readers seem to think that The Judge 13 is anti-Hamilton while other readers think that it is anti-Verstappen. It is all in the eyes of the beholder. TJ13 is covering the news just as anyone else is doing – pounce on sensationalism – unavoidable in these days of biased reporting, as for example what SKY indulges in.
      Personally, I find nothing extreme with TJ13 and I continue to read and comment.

  7. Very poorly written article, do people not review things before publishing anymore. If you can’t even spell properly how can we take your news seriously???

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