As the winter break draws to a close and the Formula 1 community gears up for the upcoming season, one question remains on the minds of fans and teams alike: will seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton renew his contract with Mercedes? Hamilton's current contract with the Silver Arrows expires at the end of the year, and while both he and team boss Toto Wolff have stated that negotiations are ongoing and a new deal is expected to be reached, the Briton has yet to put pen to paper.
"No Firm Deadline": Mercedes on Hamilton's Contract Renewal
According to a Mercedes spokesperson, rumors of an imminent contract signing are unfounded. In a statement given to Italian site Formu1a.uno, the spokesperson stated, "The rumours seem to have started on a French blog, Sportune, with which we don’t have a relationship – and are pretty wild in terms of what they suggest!
Toto stated on record last Friday that discussions haven’t yet begun, and that’s exactly the situation." Wolff himself has previously stated that Hamilton's contract would be sorted over the winter, but emphasized that there is "no firm deadline" for when the deal needs to be completed.
He went on to say, "Lewis is part of the team and the team is part of Lewis. There is no reason to not continue."
Hamilton's Caution: A Response to 2022's Disappointing Season
So what is causing the delay in contract negotiations? According to sources close to the team, Hamilton wants to wait and see how the new Mercedes W14 car performs before committing to a new deal.
This cautious approach is likely a response to the team's lackluster performance in 2022, where they were consistently outpaced by rivals Red Bull and Ferrari and took home just one victory throughout the year. He told Bild: “We haven't started yet.
So far, there has been no time for this, we were on the road”. He commented: "I'm not putting a limit on it to be honest. I'm planning to do a multi-year deal with my team. “I really, really don't know what the next five years (hold). I think we're still trying to work on that”.