Lewis Hamilton’s long-running contract saga appears to be reaching its endpoint with the world champion and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff indicating a deal is finally close to being finalised.
“It’s almost all sorted,” Mercedes boss Toto Wolff confirmed in the wake of Hamilton’s victory in the Spanish GP.
Hamilton has less than a year left on his existing contract with the team and expectations that a deal would be swiftly sealed in the winter have been followed by a lengthy impasse.
Are Mercedes back? Has F1 2018 turned?
Hamilton to test in Barcelona
Hamilton admitted on his arrival in Barcelona that the ongoing uncertainty about the future of the sport was a factor in the delay. But, after a weekend in which the Mercedes board members were embedded in the team’s garage, the 33-year-old also indicated a deal was on the verge of being agreed.
“All the bosses have been here and l don’t think there is anyone in the hierarchy who has any concerns,” said Hamilton. “We do talk about it and we are not far away from finishing things. It will happen – hopefully in the near future.”
And after his stunning Spanish drive, the Englishman added to Sky F1: “If I keep this feeling then I’m going to be racing for a long time.”
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton spoke with Sky F1 after his Spanish GP win and reflected on the 2018 season so far, saying it has been his toughest on and off the track.
Mercedes currently do not have any drivers under contract for 2019 as Valtteri Bottas is also in the final year of his current deal. But Wolff reiterated he has no concerns that Hamilton is preparing to leave Mercedes after winding down his contract just as he did five years ago when he left McLaren to join the Silver Arrows.
“We don’t want to lose him and l don’t think he wants to go anywhere else,” said Wolff. “Everything is going fine. We have had other priorities in the last few weeks. We weren’t happy with the performance of the cars and we needed to sort things out. Finalising a contract takes time and we both decided to park it.”
See the final word on all the Spanish GP action and latest F1 talking points on the next edition of the F1 Report! Make a date with Sky Sports F1 on Wednesday at 8.30pm when the guests are former Ferrari and McLaren engineer Pat Fry and technical analyst Craig Scarborough Get Sky Sports F1.