Amid mounting speculation about Sir Lewis Hamilton’s future at Mercedes, team principal Toto Wolff has insisted that they will sign a contract at some point prior to the 2021 F1 season getting underway.
“The lawyers are working hard,” Wolff told Austria’s ORF broadcaster.
“We don’t make life easy for them, of course, when we both argue over Zoom and keep sending curveballs to the lawyers.
“But he’s in America now and I’m here. At some point we will finalise it. It’s how it is with negotiations.
“You always come from different corners, but that’s quite normal. We have a really solid basis in our relationship.
“We have celebrated great successes together and want to continue doing so in the future.
“But sometimes you have to talk things out in detail, and that took or still takes us some time. But before Bahrain at the latest, you have to sign something at some point,” he reiterated.
Continuing, amid reports that Mercedes are threatening to replace Lewis Hamilton with George Russell should the seven-time World Champion refuse to yield on certain disagreements regarding his contract extension, Wolff said they have not made “any threatening gestures”.
“We never played the George Russell card. He did incredibly well and will one day be in a top car, but our long-standing partnership is not at all about making any threatening gestures.
“We know we want to race together. And now we have to negotiate the contract,” Wolff added.
Earlier today, a source within the Mercedes F1 Team told this publication that Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will definitely be driving for them in 2021.
“Any suggestion that Lewis won’t be with us this year is simply fake news. Plain and simple,” the source told Formula1News.co.uk.
“There is no reason he and Valtteri won’t be driving our cars in 2021. You can consider it confirmed,” he added.