Toto Wolff had stated that Mercedes would confirm the Lewis Hamilton contract by Christmas last year. However, it’s been over a month since Christmas, and there is still no final news on the negotiations. A former F1 driver gave his opinion on the Mercedes-Hamilton negotiation saga, explaining why the Briton’s salary ask is an issue for the Brackley team.
Jan Lammers believes that as the days keep counting down, possibilities of the partnership falling out get higher. The former F1 driver gave his reasons for why the negotiations are at a stalemate.
He said, “It could be that Hamilton is overestimating his market value and underestimating the situation in the world.”
“Meanwhile, I think Mercedes is limited in what one can offer Hamilton morally. Because how can one justify it to the staff and the management that he is? continues to receive his million salary, while people elsewhere in the company have to lay off people? “
Lammers on the Russell effect on Lewis Hamilton contract
FIA found Hamilton COVID positive after the Bahrain Grand Prix, and the champion had to sit out the next race. As a result, George Russell replaced him for that weekend in Mercedes at the Sakhir Grand Prix, impressing everyone with his one-weekend stand with the team.
Lammers explained, “I don’t think Mercedes expected Russell to do so well. But now that it does, it would be foolish for Mercedes not to use it against Hamilton in the contract negotiations. And we all know one thing for sure and that is that team boss Toto Wolff is not stupid.”
The former driver also explained that Hamilton needs to be cautious and not go too far with his demands.
If the partnership falls out, Lammers believes Mercedes will make a powerful statement stating their loyalty lies with their customers and employees, not one athlete. Meanwhile, Hamilton will lose the chance to go for that record-breaking title win.
A final announcement could take up to pre-season. And the chances of Mercedes yielding are much lower than Hamilton yielding.
Who do you think will compromise to make the contract work?