Former F1 driver Romain Grosjean has said he believes that the reason for the hold-up in Sir Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes inking a new deal was the seven-time World Champion asking for more money than the Silver Arrows were willing to pay.
Hamilton’s last contract expired at the end of 2020, but the Brit didn’t sign a new deal with Mercedes until February.
It had been speculated that Hamilton’s demands for a pay rise and his push for a clause in his contract which would give him more influence over who Mercedes run in the other car were responsible for the delay.
Grosjean still believes that the negotiations took longer than expected due to the seven-time World Champion demanding a pay rise.
“Indeed Lewis, the first things we read from him was ‘I want to continue, I’m happy to be in F1’, so if the contract wasn’t signed straight away it’s because we imagine that financially they didn’t agree and I imagine Lewis was getting more demanding,” Grosjean said.
“That’s the only reason why it took so long because on paper Mercedes wanted to continue with Lewis and Lewis wanted to continue with Mercedes. For me it’s just a guess, it was either financial or they just couldn’t agree,” the former Haas F1 driver added.
Mercedes and Hamilton have maintained that a new deal wasn’t inked until February simply because they had other priorities last season and because the Brit contracted COVID-19 towards the end of the last campaign.