Image source: Mario Renzi - Formula 1/ Getty Images
Mercedes could take a firm approach with Lewis Hamilton and not give in to his contract demands, according to former F1 driver Jan Lammers. Hamilton is currently out of contract, as his latest deal with the Silver Arrows ended in December.
The British driver is in constant discussions with Toto Wolff and both parties expect a deal to be done before pre-season testing begins in March. However, there are a couple of issues. Lammers believes Mercedes would be best to stand firm with the seven-time world champion by refusing his wage demands.
“It could be that Hamilton is overestimating his market value and underestimating the situation in the world,” Lammers told RacingNews365. “Meanwhile, I think Mercedes are limited in what they can offer Hamilton morally.
“How can you justify it to the staff and the management that he continues to receive his multi-million salary while people elsewhere in the company have to lay off people? With these kinds of things, you have to be careful not to go too far. What Hamilton does not seem to fully realise is that there is, of course, a great opportunity for Mercedes as well.
“The company just wants to sell cars and then the question is ‘what do you get more from? Is that with the next world title?’ That would be great, of course, but many people don’t care about that. Or would a statement against Hamilton’s multi-million dollar salary do more for loyalty?
“I personally think Mercedes have the chance to make a very powerful statement by stating that the loyalty lies with the Mercedes customers and employees and not with one sportsman. I think that has been a little underexposed.”