Lewis Hamilton Set To Quit Formula1 As He And Mercedes Disagree On New Contract

Mercedes are said to be bracing for ‘curveballs’ over Lewis Hamilton’s future, with the Formula 1 world champion yet to sign a new contract.

There’s just two months to go until the new season, but seven-time champ Hamilton has still not penned a new deal.

But team chief Toto Wolff says he is unfazed, insisting he will ‘respect’ any decision the Brit makes over his future.

Hamilton’s Mercedes deal expired on December 31, and it’s not clear if he will pen a new deal or walk away from the sport.

Soon to be Sir Lewis has said he wants to stay with the team, while his father told talkSPORT following his latest title win that his son is keen to keep racing.

And yet, contract talks are rumbling on.

Speaking to Autosport, Wolff said: “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.”

Mercedes are continuing to develop this season’s car assuming Hamilton will be driving it, despite the delays with his new contract.

The Brit has appeared relaxed when discussing his future at the team, suggesting to the press it would be insensitive to openly discuss a new big-money deal while people are struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is claimed his new contract would be worth £40million-a-year, while reports in Italy claim the driver also wants a share of the team’s prize money, plus a AMG One hypercar, to be wrapped into the deal.

In contrast, teammate Valtteri Bottas signed a one-year contract worth £8m with Mercedes last August.

But while reports have suggested Hamilton could walk away from the sport, after a season which saw him call for more diversity in Formula 1, his father told talkSPORT he will ‘definitely’ keep driving.

“As far as I’m aware, he carries on racing,” he told talkSPORT host Jim White. “He loves racing, he loves what he does.

“He has a voice now in the sport, which is also fantastic, but as far as I’m aware he’s carrying on racing.

“It’s a definite, as far as I know, the last time I spoke to him yesterday, he’s definitely carrying on racing.

“It’s nothing to do with targets,” he added. “He’s not racing for trophies, he races because he loves what he does and also he loves to inspire others.

“At the moment his achievements, we hope, are inspiring young kids who have a dreams they want to achieve.

“As far as Lewis is concerned, and we as a family as well, it really is about hope, opportunity, dreams, achievements, and not so much targets [on the track].”

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