Is Mercedes starting to sweat over Hamilton contract delay?


Lewis Hamilton still hasn't signed a new deal with Mercedes, leading to speculation about the driver's future with the German outfit.

Back in December, team boss Toto Wolff insisted both parties were in broad agreement over an extension of the four-time world champion's allegiance to the Silver Arrows squad.

Since then, Wolff has reiterated his assurances on several occasions, but Mercedes continues to wait on its star driver.

"He is powerful enough and a precious commodity in the sport and maybe is just making them wait and sweat a bit," 1996 world champion Damon Hill told The Sun.

"But I wonder if Nico Rosberg's retirement weighed on his mind a little bit. When you are an F1 driver, you hanker for the days when you can escape from it," he added.

Mercedes non-executive team chairman Niki Lauda denied the cause of the delay was rooted in money concerns

"There is nothing more lucrative than if he continues to win. That's all negotiated," Lauda told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

Regardless of the reasons, Hamilton's holdup is having a knock-on effect in the driver market. Team mate Valtteri Bottas also has yet to agree a deal with his employer, while Daniel Ricciardo is linked to both Mercedes and Ferrari for 2019.

However, should the Aussie decide to leave Red Bull Racing, the House of Maranello appears to be his most likely destination. Unless Hamilton decides to call it a day, in which case, anything goes…

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