Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton are yet to ink a new contract which will see them continue to race together in 2021 and beyond, but a breakthrough could be on the horizon according to reports from Italy.
Last week, the Rome-based Corriere dello Sport newspaper reported that Daimler, Mercedes’ parent company, had blocked a $50 million per year deal which the Silver Arrows wanted to offer Hamilton during the 2020 season.
More recently, the same Italian newspaper has reported that Ineos, which purchased a one-third stake in the Mercedes F1 Team last month, is potentially willing to intervene to help meet Lewis Hamilton’s salary demands and ensure he stays with the Brackley-based team.
The British multi-national chemicals giant owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe started working with the Silver Arrows ahead of the 2020 campaign after agreeing a broad sponsorship and technical partnership with the serial F1 champions.
After the end of last season, it was announced that Ineos had purchased 33.33 percent of the Mercedes F1 Team.
Daimler, Toto Wolff, and Ineos now each own a third of the Silver Arrows.
Last month, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said they failed to get a contract extension agreed before the end of the season because they had other priorities to deal with, but he remained confident that Lewis Hamilton will still be a Mercedes F1 driver in 2021.
“If you refer to why haven’t we got a signed contract? The reason is simple. We always prioritised getting this Championship done, and not being distracted by sometimes difficult discussions, as is the nature of negotiation. But then COVID struck,” Wolff said last month.
“So it has delayed us a little bit, but we are not worried in eventually getting it done,” he insisted.
Specifically, the Austrian said it could take until just before pre-season testing in March for a contract extension with Hamilton to be agreed.