The 2021 F1 season-opener is set to take place in Bahrain in just over two months, and Sir Lewis Hamilton is yet to ink a new deal with the Mercedes F1 Team.
This has led to mounting speculation in recent weeks, with reports suggesting Mercedes and Hamilton are at loggerheads over the length of his extension and his salary.
However, British F1 journalist Joe Saward has questioned why Lewis Hamilton would haggle over a pay rise now and potentially risk not breaking Michael Schumacher’s record of seven World Championships.
“It’s completely unthinkable that Lewis Hamilton is going to say: ‘I’m not doing this anymore’,” Saward said on the Missed Apex Podcast.
“He’s equalled Michael Schumacher’s record, he can beat it this year. Why in the name of god would Lewis Hamilton walk out over a question of money? The last thing Lewis Hamilton needs is any more money,” he added.
Continuing, Saward suggested that the holdup may be down to Mercedes not “fully” supporting Hamilton’s political views and how the Brit wants to use his platform to change the world.
“If it is a money problem anyway. Mercedes-Benz could say: ‘Look, this is how much we could pay and we’ll use personal sponsors to make up the difference’. That’s clearly not the issue.
“I don’t know, lifelong ambassadorships with Mercedes or something like that might be part of it.
“It might be that, while Mercedes is broadly in support of Lewis’ political views, there are some things they’re not fully in support of.
“Maybe they just want to have a discussion about how far it should go.”
Concluding, Saward stressed that Lewis Hamilton’s “position as a political force evaporates with the drive,” adding, “If he wants to change the world, he needs to stay in Formula 1.”