Mercedes have rubbished claims Lewis Hamilton has already agreed to a new contract extension amid rumours a deal has been struck. It comes after French business site Sportune reported Hamilton had agreed a mega £61.4million (€70m) a season deal.
They suggested the new extension would keep Hamilton in F1 for both the 2024 and 2025 seasons. The deal would have been a massive upgrade on his existing £40m (€45m) salary.
However, Mercedes have called out the allegations while providing a new update for fans.
Instead, a Silver Arrows spokesperson was clear that negotiations hadn’t yet begun between the pair. They told Italian site Formu1a.uno: “Obviously, the winter doesn’t stop the rumour mill, and it’s been entertaining to read speculation about contract discussions when they haven’t yet begun.
“The rumours seem to have started on a French blog, Sportune, with which we don’t have a relationship – and are pretty wild in terms of what they suggest!
“Toto stated on record last Friday that discussions haven’t yet begun, and that’s exactly the situation.” Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has previously revealed Hamilton’s deal would be sorted over the winter.
Although, he stressed there was “no firm deadline” for when a contract needed to be tied up. He explained: “Well, the job list is pretty long in what is needed to be done. But certainly, Lewis’ contract is one of the topics that we will tackle over the winter. But there is no firm deadline.
“Lewis is part of the team and the team is part of Lewis. There is no reason to not continue.”
However, Mercedes’ latest statement appears to confirm fears that talks between the pair have been delayed. Despite Wolff’s promise, Hamilton recently admitted that the pair had not yet sat down to discuss terms.
He told Bild: “We haven’t started yet. So far, there has been no time for this, we were on the road.” But, time appears to be running out with just a matter of weeks until the start of pre-season testing in Bahrain.
Hamilton has refused to put a limit on a new contract, hinting he could be around for at least another half a decade. He commented: “I’m not putting a limit on it to be honest. I’m planning to do a multi-year deal with my team.
“I really, really don’t know what the next five years (hold). I think we’re still trying to work on that.”