‘Everyone Is Replaceable’: Ecclestone Says He Wouldn’t Tolerate Lewis Hamilton’s Demands

Sir Lewis Hamilton is currently a free agent, though Mercedes have said they are confident he will still be racing with them in 2021.

Will Lewis Hamilton quit Mercedes and F1 in 2021 - Formula1news.co.uk

Sir Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes F1 Team are yet to announce that they have agreed a contract extension for 2021, though it has been reported that a new £35 million per year deal was finalised this week.

In recent weeks, there has been mounting speculation as to why Hamilton and the Silver Arrows are struggling to ink a new deal.

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A number of publications cited sources as saying that the seven-time World Champion’s salary demands were holding up the negotiations, while others claimed the Brit was at odds with the team over the length of his new deal.

And, most recently, it was claimed that Hamilton was pushing for a so-called “Verstappen clause” in his contract which would allow him to have more influence over who Mercedes run as his team-mate.

Reacting to these latest reports, former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said he wouldn’t tolerate such demands from a driver, regardless of his talent and collection of silverware.

“How far can the influence of an individual driver within a team go? I would have made it quite clear to Lewis: Either you take what we offer you now – or you leave it,” Ecclestone told F1-Insider.com this week.

“Everyone is replaceable. Only one person decides who drives here –  and that’s me!” he added.

It’s still yet to be officially confirmed that the ultra-successful Hamilton-Mercedes partnership will be continuing into 2021, but a Silver Arrows source recently told Formula1News.co.uk we can consider it “confirmed.”

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“Any suggestion that Lewis won’t be with us this year is simply fake news. Plain and simple,” the source told this publication last month.

“There is no reason he and Valtteri won’t be driving our cars in 2021. You can consider it confirmed.”

A few days later, the same Mercedes source said: “Lewis’ future here was never in doubt. It’s just a question of time.

“I’m confident it will be wrapped up and announced sometime in Feb.”

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