Lewis Hamilton Stares. Photo Courtesy of Mercedes F1

Rumor: Hamilton contract holdup exposed (2nd Update)

Lewis Hamilton has reportedly finally signed a contract extension with Mercedes.

The agreement with the 7-time World Champion is expected to be announced before the Dutch Grand Prix, although the contract length is unclear as of now.

Dr. Helmut Marko says he can imagine Lando Norris driving for Red Bull, not Hamilton though.

“With Norris, I can well imagine that, with Hamilton, I have a harder time.”

“In principle, we never have a team order or anything like that. But the overall team atmosphere and competitiveness must not suffer.”

“If you have two such stars, we take the past, Senna Prost did not go well.”

August 12, 2023 

Ferrari president John Elkann “personally” contacted Lewis Hamilton to offer him a Ferrari contract, one he “politely” declined, reports Italian journalist Leo Turrini.

Out of contract with Mercedes at the end of this season, both Hamilton and his team boss Toto Wolff have insisted several times that a deal is coming and yet, some six months after it was first said to be near, nothing has materialized, and as we reported below, it is probably because Hamilton is dragging his feet hoping for a shot at a Red Bull seat alongside Max Verstappen.

But could Red Bull afford to pay both highly compensated drivers – Verstappen and Hamilton?

Driver salaries are outside the Cost Cap, so that will not be an issue.

“We are very happy with the drivers that we have,” said Red Bull Team boss Christian Horner back in May.

“They [Red Bull’s current drivers] are committed as a pair for not only this season but next season as well. I can’t see where we would be able to accommodate Lewis. But I am sure they will sort their issues out, and we are not writing them off yet,” said the team boss in an interview with Sky Sports F1.

Horner was asked if Hamilton and Max Verstappen could co-exist as F1 teammates.

“That’s like saying ‘could you have two center-forwards playing for your favorite football (soccer) team who are both hugely competitive and talented’,” he replied.

“It would be unrealistic to put both in the same team.”

“It’s nothing that we’ve ever considered in the recent past. Obviously, to pay for those two drivers in itself, we would probably have to sell the factory,” said the Red Bull boss.

“Huge respect for Lewis,” Horner said. “He is the most successful driver of all time.

“He is a rival, but there is respect for everything he has achieved.”

Turrini reported on his blog: “Hamilton had been contacted personally by Elkann. I understand he politely replied ‘no thanks’. And you can understand it (unfortunately).”

But according to Auto Motor und Sport, Elkann isn’t the only Ferrari team member to have approached Hamilton about a seat in red.

Speaking about Hamilton’s drawn-out contract saga, Michael Schmidt told the German publication that he doesn’t ever remember an “extension of Hamilton’s contract that happened from one day to the next, but in the end, it has always been announced.”

Meanwhile, Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur is rumored to have approached Hamilton, but as with Elkann, the Briton also turned him down.

“Vasseur is rumored to have made Hamilton an offer, I won’t deny it,” Schmidt continued.

“I think Vasseur knows well that Lewis is not going anywhere, but he also has to make sure that Ferrari show some dynamism.

“I also think Hamilton is quite smart. He knows very well that even if they pay him double in Maranello, things won’t go any better there: Ferrari is not ahead of Mercedes as a car.

“And every problem at Mercedes would multiply at Ferrari because it is even more in the spotlight.”

August 10, 2023 

Rumor has it that Lewis Hamilton is making his contract negotiations with Mercedes drag on longer to see if Red Bull would hire him in 2025.

–by Mark Cipolloni–

If there is a chance, Hamilton will only want a 1-year contract extension with Mercedes for 2024, and it would behoove him to drag out the contract talks until he gets a definitive answer.

Former Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas spy on the Red Bull RB19
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas wishing they could drive for Red Bull

“It’s just the position that we’re in, it’s great to have a lot of interest,” revealed Red Bull team boss Christian Horner to Sky Sports News.

“And it’s not just from those drivers [Perez and Ricciardo] – it’s from drivers outside our spectrum as well regarding 2025.”

Drivers believed to be in the running to be Max Verstappen’s wingman in 2025:

  • Sergio Perez
  • Daniel Ricciardo
  • Lewis Hamilton
  • Yuki Tsunoda
  • Lando Norris
  • Liam Lawson
  • Oscar Piastri
  • Alex Albon

If Hamilton were to ever race alongside Verstappen in identical cars, it would put an end to speculation about who really is the greatest driver of all-time.

Currently, Verstappen is on track to destroy all of Hamilton’s F1 records, but we will never know who is the better driver unless they become teammates.

Tracking Verstappen’s Record Run

Destined to beat them all

At Age 25 Michael Schumacher 10 F1 wins
At Age 25 Ayrton Senna 2 F1 wins
At Age 25 Lewis Hamilton, 14 F1 wins
At Age 25 Max Verstappen 45 F1 wins

All-Time F1 Wins

Lewis Hamilton – 103
Michael Schumacher – 91 wins
Sebastian Vettel – 53 wins
Alain Prost – 51 wins
Max Verstappen – 45 Wins

Max Verstappen has 10 wins in 12 races this season.

If he wins another 6 of the remaining 10, he will equal Alain Prost with the 4th most wins in history.

If Max wins 8 more, he would equal Sebastian Vettel’s total of 53, and he is just 25 years old.

  Running Tally of Race Wins
Age Hamilton Wins Verstappen Wins
18 0 1
19 0 3
20 0 5
21 0 8
22 4 10
23 9 20
24 11 31
25 14 45 and counting
26 17 TBD
27 21 TBD
28 22 TBD
29 33 TBD
30 43 TBD
31 53 TBD
32 62 TBD
33 73 TBD
34 84 TBD
35 95 TBD
36 103 TBD
37 103 TBD
38 103 TBD

TBD: To Be Determined

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