Lewis Hamilton wants to finalize his new Mercedes contract before Christmas now that the 2020 Formula 1 season is over.
Mercedes and Hamilton have both said they were comfortable waiting for the drivers’ and constructors’ championships to be settled before starting negotiations; an achievement that was sealed with Hamilton’s stunning win in Turkey. However, the world champion then contracted COVID-19 and missed a race before returning to finish third in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and he now wants to tie up his future quickly.
“Hopefully over the next couple of weeks,” Hamilton said. “I would love – we would love to get it done before Christmas. I plan to be here next year; I want to be here next year. I think us, as a team, have more to do together and more to achieve both in the sport, but even more outside the sport, I think. So I hope we can begin discussions this week, and hopefully get it tied up before Christmas.”
Given the fact he is technically out of contract in 17 days it is surprising a deal has yet to be agreed, but Hamilton said the challenges presented by 2020 to all in involved in F1 should not be underestimated.
“I would say it’s been one of the hardest years, if not the hardest year, because we’ve all dealt with isolation,” he said. “We’ve not been around people.
“There’s been a great loss of life. Life is not normal. I’m grateful that we got to race and it’s been… these races can take a lot out of you, and I think it’s a great achievement for Formula 1 to have got us back racing. Thank God for the health and well-being of everyone here in this sport that’s managed to get safely through the year.”