F1

Lewis Hamilton contract: Mercedes may have dropped clue with livery call as talks continue

Lewis Hamilton compared to Schumacher by David Coulthard

Lewis Hamilton is still yet to sign a new Mercedes contract. But the Silver Arrows are confident an agreement will be reached, with talks progressing. And their decision to keep black livery, rather than silver, for 2021 suggests there won’t be a parting of the ways.

Hamilton was the best F1 driver within the sport in 2020, cruising his way to a seventh F1 Drivers’ Championship.

In the aftermath of that triumph, he outlined his desire to achieve more success, having managed to draw level with Michael Schumacher on seven titles.

But, months on, and Hamilton’s contract remains Formula One’s biggest talking point.

The 36-year-old is still yet to sign an extension with the Silver Arrows, who he’s raced for ever since his move from McLaren in 2013.

There’s been talk of a move to Ferrari, even though they’ve already announced Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will be part of their team for this year.

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And with Hamilton approaching the twilight years of his career, and being keen to pursue other avenues, some have even suggested he could retire.

However, the Independent say Mercedes plan to keep their cars black – after Hamilton urged them to change its traditional silver livery to a defiant message against racism.

And they’re confident he’ll be in the seat by the time things kick off again in March.

This suggests they’ll planning for a future with Hamilton and believe he will pen an extension, despite mixed messages coming out.

Mercedes were happy to downplay talk of the Brit having four demands.

But they refused to comment when asked whether reports about only offering Hamilton a one-year contract were correct.

Meanwhile, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff recently insisted the Silver Arrows were relaxed over the situation, saying: “It doesn’t worry me at all, because I will always respect Lewis’s decisions.

“Whether this is staying with us for a long time, or whether that means leaving the sport and pursuing different interests. I think we need to be ready for all kinds of curveballs being thrown at us.

“But at the same time, we talk a lot, and we are very transparent with each other. I think there is more to achieve together.”

Wolff also hailed Hamilton, admitting his skills go beyond merely being the fastest driver.

“It’s not one dimensional,” the 48-year-old added.

“Formula 1 has always been about best man in best machine wins.

“The best man means the quickest driver, and the most intelligent driver.

“[He is] the one that understands how the dynamics in a team works, its technical ability, and on the other side seeing himself in the right context within the organisation and not like a solar system where everything revolves around the sun.

“Equally, the organisation around the driver needs to be on its absolute A game in order to deliver performance in the various areas.

“This means on the engineering side, on the commercial side, on the political side, and on the communication side, in order to keep the wheels rolling.

“This is a business without a silver bullet, contrary to what most people think – even within the industry.

“It’s a business around marginal gains where everything needs to be in the right place for a team to be successful.”

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