Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton had a difficult end to the 2020 F1 season, with him contracting COVID-19 earlier this month and being outpaced at the season finale by Max Verstappen and his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes is set to expire in just a few weeks, but the Brit is hopeful that a new deal will be agreed before Christmas.
After finishing third in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday, Hamilton was asked about the status of his contract extension negotiations with Mercedes.
He said the talks will “hopefully” start over the coming weeks, adding, “we’d love to get it done before Christmas I think.”
“I plan to be here next year, I want to be here next year. I think us as a team have more to do together, more to achieve both in the sport and even more outside the sport.
“So yeah, I hope we can begin this week discussions and hopefully get it tied up before Christmas,” Hamilton added.
Following George Russell’s impressive drive in Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes W11 at the Sakhir GP earlier this month, ex-F1 driver Martin Brundle said the seven-time World Champion’s value to the Silver Arrows has been “capped” by the young Brit.
“With Hamilton playing hard to get regarding a signature on a new contract, and doubts whether Valtteri Bottas was really stepping up to the plate lately despite his miserable luck, George would answer a few questions one way or the other,” Brundle wrote in a recent column for Sky Sports F1.
“And so it proved to be as he assuredly led the race after a perfect start, and without being entirely comfortable inside the car or fully up to speed with all of its systems, Russell dramatically raised his own value and opportunities, capped Hamilton’s, and dented Bottas’,” the former F1 driver added.
Hamilton joined the Mercedes works team at the end of the 2012 season after spending six years with McLaren.
In his eight-year tenure with the Silver Arrows, Hamilton has won six Drivers’ Titles and recorded 74 grand prix victories.