Lewis Hamilton is ready to start new contract negotiations with Mercedes, meaning he would stay in Formula One beyond the end of 2021, and is hoping to have a new deal in place by August.
After eight years at Mercedes, the seven-time world champion signed a one-year deal over the winter, meaning he will be out of contract again at the end of 2021.
The one-year deal came as a surprise following a rushed negotiation period at the end of the year, which resulted in team and driver agreeing to start their next contract talks earlier this year.
“We never want to be in the position that we were in in January, in February [this year],” Hamilton said. “It ruined my whole winter and I’m sure it wasn’t helpful for Toto’s, in terms of being out to be off and relaxed, so it felt like we didn’t really have much of a break.
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“I think we have to be sensible. Naturally we don’t have to rush anything, but I think we have to be sensible and start conversations.
“They’re very complex, it’s never a super simple procedure and so hopefully soon we can start, as long as it doesn’t interfere the actual job.
“We still have 19 races to do, but it would be great to get something in place before the break so then we could, again, be in that break and have a clear picture of the future.”
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is confident Hamilton will commit to F1 for more than a single year under his next contract.
“Yes, it should be [more than a year],” Wolff said. “We don’t want to be in a stressful situation every single year where we are absolutely flat-out trying to win races and needing to negotiate. I would rather that doesn’t happen every year.
“We just need to spend a day or two together, put it out there and decide which are the difficult components.
“We will then lock the door and won’t walk out until it is sorted. That works best for us, and it has worked best for us in the past.”
At 36 years old, Hamilton stated he still feels fit enough to continue in F1 over the coming years.
“There’s still some life in this old dog!” he joked. “I would say I’m more conscious than ever about my body, about my training regime.
“I’ve been training myself for a long time now but constantly growing and learning how to look after, naturally, the vessel that I’m given and feeling great.”
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