Is this the reason for the negotiations between Hamilton and Mercedes?

08-02-2021 15:35
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Is this the reason for the negotiations between Hamilton and Mercedes?

Hamilton has finally re-signed with Mercedes and to be fair, little news has come out of it. According to the latest reports, he is going to earn about the same amount as he already did and the fact that it is a one-year contract is not a big surprise either. So why did it take so long anyway?

It is unlikely that the full truth about this will come out anytime soon. And so there will be a lot of speculation about this in the near future. So let's start with that right now.

Money was not a problem for Mercedes

First, there is the money issue. Some rumors suggested that Hamilton was demanding as much as $60 million. Even if that were true, it doesn't seem realistic that the negotiations had to take so long because of it. Hamilton can spare the extra ten million and he is also smart enough to figure out that it would not do his image any good if he put his foot down about this.

Moreover Mercedes has said several times that money is not the problem. So something else was going on. The much-discussed veto on the arrival of Max Verstappen perhaps? Also very unlikely. Especially when it was only a one-year contract. You could still argue that Hamilton only wanted to sign a multi-year contract if he was given this veto, but Mercedes is very firm in their denial of this.

Striking similarity in statements

There is, however, one part of the announcement that can be considered 'news' and on which the statements of Hamilton, Wolff and Mercedes put a lot of emphasis: Their aim to further promote diversity in Formula 1.

It is a subject close to Hamilton's heart and it is easy to imagine that he did want to make the most of it. After rumors that Hamilton wanted more of a say in Mercedes' policy making the joint creation of a foundation feels quite like a compromise.

The fact that they put so much emphasis on this also gives the impression that this played an important role in the negotiations. It is also an indication that those rumors were not completely out of the blue, even if this is now labeled as "nonsense" by Mercedes.

We will have to wait and see what exactly this foundation will mean and how visible it will be. In any case, it is clear that Hamilton will reinforce the campaign for diversity that he started last year in 2021.

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