Martin Brundle hints Mercedes could cut Lewis Hamilton’s pay

Hamilton opens up on plans to remain in F1 ahead of new season

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Martin Brundle has suggested Mercedes may be prepared to reduce Lewis Hamilton’s pay as talks over a new deal continue. The Sky Sports F1 host revealed there could be “some pressure” to reduce Hamilton’s salary which might be behind the delay in striking a deal.

Ex-McLaren driver Brundle warned Hamilton would be unlikely to turn down a “big pay cheque”. He told Sky Sports F1’s podcast: “You have to remember Lewis is in the middle of a negotiation as well. Now I’m 100 per cent certain Lewis would always follow the performance and not the money, but who’s going to turn down a big paycheque if you can get it as well?

“There may be some pressure at Mercedes to reduce his current pay. So there is a bit of negotiation and a bit of gameplay in this as well.” Brundle made the comments after he attempted to find excuses for Hamilton’s post-Bahrain outburst.

The British F1 star pointed the blame at Mercedes bosses for not listening to him over the W14’s design in his most incendiary remarks to date. Hamilton called on Mercedes engineers to “own up” and stressed he wanted “accountability” for the team’s mistakes.

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Hamilton’s current Mercedes contract expires at the end of the 2023 season meaning he would be free to leave the team for a rival ahead of 2024. The seven-time champion is understood to want a new multi-year extension which could keep him at the Silver Arrows until 2025.

Team boss Toto Wolff previously suggested the pair had sat down for “first talks” but nothing has yet been finalised. George Russell starred at Mercedes last season and beat Hamilton by 35 points in his first year in the squad.

Russell’s performance meant the ex-Williams driver became just the third team-mate in Hamilton’s career to beat him over the course of a season behind Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg. However, fellow Sky Sports host Simon Lazenby doesn’t feel Russell’s performance will play any part in Hamilton’s talks.

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When asked if the 25-year-old’s display could push Mercedes to reconsider Hamilton’s worth, Lazenby told Express Sport: “No, I don’t think it will come to that.

“I don’t think you can underestimate the value of Lewis’ marketing potential to a brand like Mercedes either. I think that’s why he commands figures way in excess of George at this stage of George’s career.”

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