Will Hamilton block Russell's arrival at Mercedes with new contract?

14-01-2021 10:55 | Updated: 14-01-2021 11:42
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Will Hamilton block Russell's arrival at Mercedes with new contract?

Lewis Hamilton still does not have a new contract with Mercedes and while earlier reports said the length of the contract would be the main obstacle, in Italy there are reports that other obstacles for Mercedes and Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton won his seventh world title in 2020 and Mercedes also celebrated their seventh consecutive constructors' title. It seems only logical that the two parties would want to continue their relationship, but now, in mid-January, there is still no clarity on the future of the British driver.

The contract negotiations

It is reported that both parties would like to continue with each other and INEOS is even willing to bridge the gap when it comes to Hamilton's wage. Hamilton does not want to give up his contract of 45 million euros per year, something that Daimler is no longer willing to pay. An ambassadorial role with Mercedes and a company car do not seem to be a problem either.

The duration of the contract, however, would be an obstacle. Hamilton would aim for a multi-year deal, but the Mercedes management does not want that. They want to offer Hamilton a one year contract, just like Valtteri Bottas. With George Russell Mercedes have an up and coming driver more than knocking on the door for a seat.

Hamilton blocks Russell

According to Italian Autosprint, however, that is not the only obstacle. Alessandro Gargantini, writer for the Italian newspaper, thinks Russell is also a problem in the contract negotiations. "It would not surprise us if Hamilton wants to play an active role in the choice of the second driver after 2021, the writer tells the magazine.

This would be a remarkable position for Hamilton to take. The Brit has the duel with Valtteri Bottas pretty much under control, but George Russell has showed he could do great things for Mercedes in the future. If Hamilton were to block his arrival, it would have far-reaching implications for the future of Russell, who is already entering his third year at Williams.

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