Sir Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes F1 Team have failed to ink a deal for 2021 because the Brit is pushing for a pay rise, according to reports.
However, some F1 fans and members of the paddock have speculated that Sir Hamilton has already signed a new deal with the Silver Arrows, but not everyone is convinced.
This week, Russian journalist and F1 commentator Alexey Popov said he believes Sir Hamilton is “at a crossroads” in his career and noted that “everyone is trying to figure out” what the seven-time World Champion wants.
“The British press writes about him every day,” Popov said.
“The Italians, the Dutch too. Eddie Jordan says he wouldn’t accept it [Hamilton’s demands for a pay rise], Ecclestone has talked about it. Everyone is trying to figure out what he wants.”
Continuing, Popov said that Sir Lewis Hamilton “probably thinks that if Mercedes can’t pay him in full, Ratcliffe – one of the richest men in the UK – will cover the difference.”
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is the CEO of Ineos, a British multi-national chemicals giant, which now owns a third of the Mercedes F1 Team after purchasing a stake in the serial Champions in December.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Ineos may intervene and pay Sir Hamilton the salary increase he has been demanding to ensure he stays with the Silver Arrows.
However, Daimler, Mercedes’ parent company, reportedly weren’t willing to yield even if the money wasn’t coming out of their own pocket.
Furthermore, if reports are to be believed, the hold-up in Sir Hamilton agreeing a contract extension isn’t solely down to money; it was recently claimed that he is only interested in signing another multi-year deal, while Mercedes just want to offer him a single-year extension.