Lewis Hamilton could sign new deal before Canadian GP this week – Toto Wolff
Lewis Hamilton’s Formula One future could be resolved as early as before this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.
Hamilton has six months to run on his £40million-a-season deal with Mercedes, but team principal Toto Wolff said his superstar driver is on the brink of agreeing new terms.
“It is going to happen soon, and we are talking more days than weeks,” Wolff told CNBC’s Squawk on the Street programme in New York when asked about Hamilton’s contract negotiations.
“We are trying hard [to get it done before the Canadian Grand Prix]. I will see him today and maybe we will talk about it.
“We have such a good relationship that we dread the moment that we need to talk about money.”
Hamilton, 38, met with Wolff the day after the last round in Spain in the hope of rubber-stamping a fresh contract with the Silver Arrows.
It is anticipated that the British driver’s extension will be a multi-year deal, extending his stay in F1 beyond his 40th birthday.
“Lewis is the most important personality in the sport,” added Wolff.
“He is so multi-faceted, not only with the racing, but also off track, so we need to keep him in the sport for as long as possible.
“From a team’s perspective, Lewis and Mercedes have gone back a long time. He has never raced for any other brand than Mercedes.
“We both joined the team in 2013 together, and from a professional relationship, we now have a friendship. It has been a wonderful time.”
Hamilton, who has not won a race since his contentious championship defeat to Max Verstappen at the 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi, is already 83 points off the title pace this year.
But Mercedes’ recent upturn in form has provided Hamilton, who finished runner-up to Red Bull’s Verstappen at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya, with renewed hope that his dream of a record eighth world title is not over.
However, Wolff warned: “The result in Spain was a well-deserved reward for everyone’s efforts at Brackley and Brixworth to bring our update package to the track.
“We were pleased with how it performed, and it will provide a new baseline for us to build from.
“But we must also manage our expectations. It was a circuit that suited our car, and we should expect our direct competitors to be stronger in the next races.
“The gap to Red Bull is large and it will take lots of hard work to close that down. Nevertheless, we’re up for the challenge.”