F1: Mercedes open contract extension talks with Lewis Hamilton after confirmation of Nico Rosberg's 'multi-year' deal last week
Rosberg got married, agreed a new contract and won the German Grand Prix in the same week, but it is his team-mate Hamilton that is in talk now regarding a new deal
Tuesday 22 July 2014
Lewis Hamilton has already opened talks with Mercedes with regard to signing a new deal.
Last week Mercedes confirmed they had signed Nico Rosberg to a new long-term contract, believed to run through to the end of 2016.
The German manufacturing giant is now eager to extend its partnership with Hamilton, who still has another 18 months to run of his initial three-year agreement.
Hamilton revealed last week ahead of the German Grand Prix he was "quite relaxed" with regard to his situation with Mercedes.
The 29-year-old stated he was "very, very happy in the team", adding he felt it would be "very difficult for me to see myself anywhere else" given his association with Mercedes since the age of 13.
Hamilton, however, kept the door slightly ajar for a move elsewhere as he said: "But you never know what the future may hold."
Hamilton, Rosberg and Mercedes are currently F1's dream ticket as the duo have won nine of the 10 races so far this season, whilst the team is firmly on course for the constructors' title.
Although there have been moments of consternation for motorsport boss Toto Wolff to contend with, the Austrian is eager to retain Hamilton beyond the end of 2015.
"We are already sitting together and negotiating with Lewis about a multi-year contract," said Wolff, speaking to Austria's Kronen Zeitung newspaper.
"Lewis is a fixed part of the team, and I would hope for a long time to come."
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Any decision from Hamilton may be some way off yet, and much could depend on the outcome of this year's title fight with Rosberg.
Hamilton has fallen 14 points adrift after Rosberg's win on home soil at Hockenheim on Sunday, although the Briton deserves full credit for limiting the damage after a stirring drive from 20th to third.
A qualifying crash following a right-front brake disc failure again put Hamilton on the back foot in his duel with Rosberg.
Hamilton required acupuncture ahead of the race, and this week will also have physiotherapy prior to competing at a circuit he has made his own in recent years, the Hungaroring just outside Budapest.
Hamilton has won four Hungarian Grands Prix from seven attempts, and the last two in particular, so completing a hat-trick to go into the sport's summer break on a high would provide him with a huge tonic.
"I'm not going there with any concern about maintaining my record," said Hamilton.
"I'm simply going there to win, as was the case ahead of the weekend in Germany. I went into it with the right mentality and preparation.
"But things happened and got in the way. That's not to say I want luck or wish for luck. I never pray or wish for that. I just don't want anything like that.
"All I hope is the car sticks together so I can go out there and do the job."
To that end, Hamilton would love nothing more than three trouble-free days as he feels he deserves as much given his problems of late.
Qualifying especially has proven a thorn in his side of late as he has had to contend with issues or his own failings at the last five race Saturdays.
"A couple of times it's been down to me not getting the lap," said Hamilton.
"I think I would have got the lap in Germany, but then who knows. The car broke down, but that's okay, there are many more races to go."
With a laugh, Hamilton said: "I'm certainly not planning on starting at the back in Hungary!
"But a clean weekend is what I'm aiming for, to come away from there with some strong points ahead of the break when I'll get some rest going into the last part of the season.
With a huge grin he then added: "Maybe I'll go visit some Indians, or a Buddha and rub his belly or whatever.
"I'll try all the different religions to see if I can get some luck."
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