Mercedes unwilling to pay Hamilton $66m – Marko (Update)

Hamilton says the reports are more Fake News from the British F1 media
Hamilton says the reports are more Fake News from the British F1 media

UPDATE (GMM) Lewis Hamilton has rejected speculation that he is arguing about the monetary value of his next contract with Mercedes.

Reports have suggested that Mercedes is offering the new six-time world champion about $50 million a year for 2021 and 2022, with Hamilton firing back with a $66m counter-offer.

The 35-year-old denies it.

"Toto (Wolff) and I have not even spoken about the contract yet," Hamilton said on social media.

"Nothing is being negotiated currently, papers are making up stories."

Indeed, staying at Mercedes makes sense for Hamilton, as Red Bull and Ferrari have already signed up Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc on long-term deals.

But speculation the Mercedes works team could be sold and rebranded as Aston Martin for 2021 could be a complication that re-fires rumors of a switch to Ferrari for Hamilton.

Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko this week suggested that only Ferrari would be willing to pay Hamilton what he is reportedly demanding.

"I believe that no team, not even Mercedes, will be willing to spend such sums on a driver. Maybe Ferrari," he told Auto Bild.

Speaking to the Italian magazine Autosprint, Ferrari's sporting boss Laurent Mekies puts Hamilton in the same category as Verstappen and Leclerc.

"They are all exceptional talents, that is clear," he said.

Wolff whispers to Hamilton, you know you would be nothing without us giving you an unbeatable car, right?
Wolff whispers to Hamilton, you know you would be nothing without us giving you an unbeatable car, right?

01/29/20 (GMM) Lewis Hamilton may be pricing himself out of the market in Formula 1, according to Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko.

Reports suggest the six-time world champion has turned down Mercedes' offer of a new two-year deal for 2021 and 2022 amounting to as much as $50m per season.

But Hamilton is reportedly pressing for $66 million a year.

Marko, a top official at Red Bull who has just re-signed Max Verstappen through 2023, thinks the numbers being reported are probably right.

"Lewis is a six-time world champion and very important for Mercedes in both sporting and marketing terms," he told Auto Bild.

"I think he is aware of his value which is where he comes up with such numbers.

"But I believe that no team, not even Mercedes, will be willing to spend such sums on a driver. Maybe Ferrari," Marko added.

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