Mercedes may sack Lewis Hamilton due to hefty salary demands

Lewis Hamilton was comfortably beaten by George Russell at the recent round in Saudi Arabia.

Despite Lewis Hamilton having effectively confirmed ahead of the Australian Grand Prix that he won’t be leaving Mercedes anytime soon, rumours continue to circulate that the seven-time World Champion could still leave the Germans at the end of 2023.

Hamilton’s contract situation is a daily talking point currently, with the 38-year-old still yet to actually sign an extension with the Brackley-based team.

Some have reported that he’s waiting to see whether Mercedes can close the gap to Red Bull, whilst others have stated that it’s just a matter of time until a deal is done.

Based on Hamilton’s own words, the latter is seemingly the more believable, with him having labelled Mercedes as his “family” who he’ll be with until his “last days” in F1.

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Times newspaper correspondent Matthew Syed, though, has reported that there are “many Hamilton detractors” within the Silver Arrows who want to see the team’s bosses sign a young star to partner George Russell.

Russell has certainly performed exceptionally well since moving from Williams to Mercedes, despite the fact the Brackley-based team have been unable to offer him a consistent car.

He was responsible, of course, for Mercedes’ only win last season in Brazil, marking his incredible rise.

Russell also became just the third team-mate of Hamilton’s to beat him in the Drivers’ Championship, a feat which should not be taken lightly.

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The 25-year-old actually responded to a comment by Hamilton interestingly ahead of this weekend, after the 103-time race winner revealed that the Mercedes duo made a “50-50” choice over what set-up they took, both of which were the complete opposite of one another.

Hamilton effectively put this set-up down as the reason why he was beaten comfortably by Russell at the recent round in Saudi Arabia; however, Russell has since stated that “luck” had nothing to do with his performance.

“I don’t think there’s any luck in it at all,” Russell said in Melbourne on Thursday.

“I think it’s down to the preparation you put in before the event.”

With that in mind, Syed wrote: “It is possible that Mercedes may end the relationship (with Hamilton) at the end of this season, given the expense of his contract.”

Ex-F1 driver Anthony Davidson is one of many who doesn’t see Hamilton leaving Mercedes anytime soon and has actually warned the Stevenage-born driver against going elsewhere, with a “knee-jerk reaction” not being the right choice.

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“I’d be very surprised if he joined another team,” Davidson is quoted by the Evening Standard.

“I’d be more surprised to see him change teams than walk away. But he says it with some conviction that he will carry on until he gets that eighth title.

“I’d say ‘don’t have a knee-jerk reaction like Fernando Alonso in the past’, which hasn’t worked out well for him until now,” Davidson added. “Just put faith in the team that they can turn it around.”