A rumored breakthrough appears to have been made by Mercedes in their quest to retain Lewis Hamilton for next season.
In order to extend his relationship with the Silver Arrows, Hamilton reportedly had a long list of contractual demands that he wanted to be met.
Chief among these was a request that his salary, which is reportedly close to $50 million-a-year, remain unchanged.
That figure would see Hamilton continue as the highest-paid driver in F1 history. In addition, Hamilton is also seeking a 10% cut of all Mercedes’ prize money going forward whilst he is employed with them.
If the Brackley-based team were to lift their eighth-straight Constructors’ Championship in 2021, Hamilton would stand to pocket another $15 million +, based on last season’s prize pot.
The Mercedes board balked.
However, per express.co.uk, it appears that one of Mercedes’ shareholders is set to step in and provide a solution.
Back in February last year, Mercedes announced a five-year sponsorship deal with multinational chemicals company INEOS.
That sponsorship has seen INEOS take on a one-third shareholding in the team – with Daimler and Wolff holding the remainder equally.
So keen is INEOS to retain Hamilton’s services that they will reportedly cover a large portion of his new contract. Internally, there is now a belief that this news will lead to a new contract being signed shortly.
Hamilton has repeatedly stated in recent times that he has no plans to leave F1.
January 6, 2021
(GMM) The new year has begun without Lewis Hamilton having signed a new contract with Mercedes.
According to sources, including Italy’s Corriere dello Sport, team parent Daimler is balking at the new seven time world champion’s contract demands.
For instance, it is claimed the almost 36-year-old wants EUR 40 million per season for four consecutive years, plus 10 percent – around EUR 10 million – of the team’s title bonuses.
Reports also claim Hamilton wants a limited edition, $2.72 AMG Project One supercar and a key role in Mercedes’ transition to new ‘green’ technologies.
Corriere della Sera newspaper claims Daimler is yet to agree to the demands, amid supposed concerns about the length of the deal and the tantalizing prospects for the future of Mercedes junior George Russell.
Indeed, it is notable that while Russell is staying at Williams next year, the struggling team will begin to use Mercedes-made gearboxes and hydraulics from 2022.
“For Williams, it makes sense to acquire the integrated powertrain after running our power units since 2014 and for our team, it makes sense in terms of economies of scale to supply another team under the new rules,” said Toto Wolff.
As for the Hamilton deal, Mercedes’ chief bargaining chip is that the British driver would continue to have clearly the best car in the field at his disposal in 2021.
“The media does such a good job of telling everyone that Adrian Newey builds the best chassis that it convinced everyone else to copy that concept,” said Mercedes technical director James Allison.
“In the meantime, we’ve flown under the radar with a car that everyone believed was all about its powerful engine,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.