Sports Personality of the Year: Lewis Hamilton receives award
Lewis Hamilton has reportedly made four demands during contract talks with Mercedes and the Silver Arrows are weighing up whether to pander to the Brit or turn their attentions to George Russell, who is set to race for Williams.
Hamilton has dragged out contract talks with Mercedes all year and Motorsport’s Italian branch claims he has a list of requests.
The first is that his salary rises to £35.5million a year, which would ensure he remains as the highest paid driver on the grid.
A second demand is that Hamilton apparently wants a 10 per cent share of Mercedes’ prize money should they win the Championship.
Mercedes earned around £130million for winning a seventh consecutive world title in 2020 – so that would mean Hamilton could take home a £13m bonus.
A third request is that Mercedes gift the seven-time world champion one of their upcoming, limited-production AMG One cars.
The two-door coupe is set to feature F1-derived technology and only 250 will be manufactured.
Motorsport.com adds that Hamilton also wants to be offered a role that ‘goes beyond being a driver and more than a mere testimonial’.
That means the 35-year-old is apparently desperate for a hands-on job where he can help drive the Silver Arrows’ approach into electric transition.
It is yet to be seen if Toto Wolff and his co-owners will give in to Hamilton’s request but Daimler are using George Russell as a threat, the report adds.
Russell stepped in for Hamilton at the Sakhir Grand Prix and would have won the race had it not been for a messed up pit stop and a late tyre puncture.
The 22-year-old is under contract with Williams for the 2021 campaign but he is managed by Mercedes so striking a deal would not be impossible.
There is still confidence from both parties that Hamilton and Mercedes will extend their contract
Meanwhile, Russell recently reflected on his short stint in Hamilton’s car – which could well be his in the future.
“I think the thing I’ve learned most is that you have to be adaptable,” he said.
“My sort of driving style I did in the Williams actually hurt me slightly in the Mercedes.
“So when I came back to the Williams and I tried to implement some of the things that I did in that Bahrain race, but I couldn’t do it in the Williams.
“I think that sort of reinforced to me that you have to be open minded and you have to adapt to whatever the car is giving you.”
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