Hamilton still on track for new deal before Melbourne

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 with the media.
© XPB 

Lewis Hamilton has reiterated his hopes that a new contract keeping him at Mercedes will be signed within the next week.

The 33-year-old British driver is out of contract at the end of the year. However, he insists that a contract extension is just a formality.

"It’s quite a relaxed atmosphere for us," he told attendees at the launch of the new Petronas Global Research Centre in Turin this week.

"Mercedes knows I’m committed to them, and they’ve expressed that they are committed to me."

"It's all good," confirmed Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. He was seen sporting a cast on his hand after breaking a thumb while skiing over the off-season.

The reigning world champion has previously indicated that he wanted negotiations to be concluded by the start of the new season.

“I hope so," Hamilton said when asked if that was still on the cards. "But if not, don’t worry. It will happen.

“We are continuing to talk," he said "Obviously we have this year to focus on but it will for sure happen."

The new contract is expected to be for two years. That would take Hamilton through to the end of the 2020 season. It's believed that Hamilton will be paid around £40 million per year (€45 million).

"I sit here quite relaxed," he continued. "It is about constantly trying to find common ground.

"Ultimately with contracts and partnerships you always want to work on how you can do better," he said. "To provide that service and vice-versa, by how you can extract more from each other so that is what we are working on."

Hamilton said he was still determined to deliver for the team, and to be even better than before.

"I go to the factory every week and see what it is happening. There is no coincidence that we are world champions and we are number one.

"We are always wanting to move forward," he added. "It is a new beginning for us this year. It is not like we are four-time world champions. We want to win that championship again and there is one more to get."

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