Lewis Hamilton contract: Mercedes star ‘could walk away’ as George Russell message sent

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Lewis Hamilton has yet to sign a new contract at Mercedes as talks continue between the two parties. Hamilton became a seven-time F1 world champion last season matching the great Michael Schumacher.

The 36-year-old is believed to want a big salary and a lengthy contract in what could be his last deal at the team before he retires from the sport.

Mercedes are cautious about that with the likes of George Russell pushing for a seat sooner rather than later.

Former F1 car designer and pundit Gary Anderson thinks Hamilton could even consider walking away before the 2021 season.

He said: “But it’s in the interests of the three parties that own the team – Mercedes, Ineos and Toto Wolff – to find a solution and get Hamilton’s name on a contract.

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“It will be interesting to see if it doesn’t happen. If Hamilton decides he’s bigger than the wider picture of the financial challenges then he could end up walking away.

“But this doesn’t make that much difference to the job the team is doing.

“Hamilton is a great driver and not having him would be a big loss, but they just have to keep doing what they are doing and rely on Russell and Valtteri Bottas to do the job,” Anderson added.

Russell impressed for Mercedes when standing in for Hamilton at the Sakhir Grand Prix last season.

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The 22-year-old has been linked with a seat at the team ever since but it is more likely he would replace Valtteri Bottas in 2022.

Meanwhile, David Coulthard has given his verdict on contract negotiations and what could be holding up any deal.

“As to why there isn’t an announcement regarding Lewis, it could be a number of reasons,” he told Express Sport.

“It could be that Mercedes feel they have gotten all of the value they are going to get out of Lewis Hamilton.

“Lewis Hamilton breaking the Championship record this year, does that serve Lewis or does it serve Mercedes more?

“If it serves Lewis more being an eight-time world champion then there’s nothing really in it for Mercedes.

“If it serves Mercedes more then it doesn’t really bother Lewis because he still gets an eighth title.

“Business is business. Nobody just gives money away because somebody is nice or somebody is good at what they’re doing. There has to be an agreement on what the perceived value is.”

The 2021 F1 season starts with the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, March 28.

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