Date:Friday April 17 2015
Another week passes with no new contract for Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes.
Talks have been dragging on since last year and despite everything apparently being agreed in principal, we don't look any closer to having everything signed and sealed.
Ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, both parties sounded positive that things would be wrapped up before the start of the season.
Then ahead of the Malaysia Grand Prix it was said that Hamilton and Mercedes had completed their contract negotiations over the 2014 Formula One World Champions new contract.
Ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix it remained 99% completed, but was still down to the lawyers to conclude after Hamilton had represented himself during the negotiations after parting company with his XIX Entertainment management team last year.
The protracted nature of the talks between Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton, who is out-of-contract at the end of 2015, has meant that continued speculation regarding the delays have been frequent in the media.
At first it was thought that numerous approaches from Ferrari may have unsettled talks.
Now it's a rumour regarding Hamilton demanding number one status within the team.
“That’s not the case – and he wouldn’t ask for that clause because that is not what we do and I think he appreciates how we manage the team and give both drivers equal status. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff told Sky Sports.
“It is down to the detail. We have discussed and negotiated for a long time. We have sorted out the main terms since a couple of months already and it’s just a little bit of ping-pong between the lawyers. This is the normal process.”
Lewis Hamilton also denied reports that he would ever wish to be given preferential treatment at a team, unlike Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.
“I’ve never, ever, ever asked for a number one clause,” he said. “Sebastian will have that. Fernando always asks for that. I have never, ever asked for that.
“I want to beat the guy, at his best, next to me and then I’ll know where I stand. It’s never been a case of wanting to tie someone’s hands behind their back and beat them and be happy with it. I know a lot of people here would be happy with that, but that’s not me.”
Once the 'ping-pong between the lawyers' is complete the deal will reportedly be worth the wait for Hamilton.
The two-time Formula One World Champion's new deal will be 'more lucrative terms than the £20m-a-year he agreed' when he left McLaren three-years ago, with the BBC reporting that he will earn a basic salary of £20.9million-a-year, but that includes various bonuses which depending on the number of race victories and potential future Formula One championships could take his earnings to in-excess of £27million.
The deal would see Hamilton on parity with former two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso at McLaren Honda and former four-time F1 title holder Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari.
Alonso is reportedly earning £27million-a-year at McLaren, whilst Vettel will earn £33.7million during his first season at Ferrari [his basic wage drops after the first season to £20.4million with potential bonuses boosting his earnings to around the £33.7million mark].
Date:Friday April 17 2015
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