Sky F1's Martin Brundle recently spent some time with Lewis Hamilton and came away with the impression that the seven-time world champion was not "super happy" with the outcome of his contract talks with Mercedes.
Earlier this year, Hamilton signed up for a single season with the championship winning team, a duration that has sparked a lot of speculation regarding the Briton's F1 future beyond 2021.
During last week's unveiling of Mercedes W12 challenger, Hamilton said the current "unusual" state of the world had partly justified his one-year deal with the Brackley squad, while team boss Toto Wolff has claimed that the belated signing of the new agreement simply prompted both parties to postpone talks for 2022 to later this year.
But after a lengthy chat with the F1 star, Brundle offered his perception of the Mercedes driver's demeanor and comments.
"We did a couple of features with him that we will play out through the year on Sky F1," explained Brundle.
"He was very generous but a bit grumpy actually, I thought generally. It’s interesting that his right-hand man, Marc Hynes, is no longer working with him.
"I sensed he possibly wasn’t super-happy with the way the negotiations have worked out at Mercedes."
Hamilton also took a cautious stance when Brundle suggested that a 100-pole milestone in F1 was likely just around the corner.
"Once we got over that, I did say to him ‘you’re going to burst through 100 poles this year at some point, most likely’ and he went ‘why?’," recounted the Sky F1 commentator.
"'McLaren were a quarter of a second behind us in Abu Dhabi, now they’ve got our engine; what about Red Bull, maybe the high rake works; and don’t count out Ferrari, and the Aston Martin will be strong'.
"He sort of really challenged me quite hard and I said ‘well, you have got 98 of them, mostly in the hybrid era, you scored 10 last year – there’s half a chance you’ll get two more this year’.
"But when we got over that little hurdle – because Lewis does love to poke you a little bit before you sit down to do stuff like that – I had an hour with him talking about that amazing race in Istanbul last year when he took his seventh world title and he was very generous on inside his head, inside his life of a grand prix weekend and how qualifying unfolds."