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Lewis Hamilton has confirmed that contract negotiations are underway with Mercedes. Earlier in the year, Hamilton set a deadline for talks to begin, saying it would be ‘sensible’ to ‘start conversations’ to seal a new contract with Mercedes before F1’s summer break.
Speaking to F1.com, Hamilton admitted: “We are hoping to get it done much faster than we did last time; we don’t want to fall into the same trap. And it’s quite chilled as well – we always talked about not wanting to do it mid-season because it would be a distraction – but we’ve done it in a way that it’s light-hearted. It’s not intense, it’s not causing trouble, and good communication as always with Toto [Wolff, Team Principal]. So I hope we have something soon.”
Speaking ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix, Hamilton also hinted he felt no need for a switch of team-mates.
“We have begun discussions, and, not a lot to say – just we have had discussions and things are positive so… and yes, Valtteri is my team-mate now, and both of us have had ups and downs in our careers, but as I said he is a fantastic team-mate and I don’t necessarily think that needs to change.”
When pushed by Tom Clarkson in the FIA’s F1 press conference on Thursday for a word on Russell as a viable option, Hamilton replied “Doing what?”
Clarkson responded: “Being your team-mate?”
“Well, he’s not my team-mate currently, so I don’t need to say anything on that,” responded the Brit.