Hamilton can 'play poker' over F1 future with 'dependent' Mercedes

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Lewis Hamilton can "play poker" over his Formula 1 future because Mercedes is "dependent" on him, pundit Marc Surer claims.

Here we are in mid-October, with the Briton perhaps only a month or six weeks away from matching Michael Schumacher as a seven-time world champion and still, he has not officially been confirmed at the Brackley-based team for 2021.

The reasons for that have been various, ranging from those given by Hamilton pointing to hectic schedule since the season finally began in July, to the rumours that perhaps he is waiting to see what the future holds for team boss Toto Wolff.

Whatever, Surer believes when it comes to negotiations over his new contract, all of the Aces are firmly in Lewis' hands.

“He can afford to play poker,” he told Germany's Sport1 recently.

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“Who else are they supposed to take instead of him? The team depends on him, the team has to wait for him.

“We’ve seen Max Verstappen beat Valtteri Bottas a couple of times this year, but beating Lewis Hamilton is a lot harder. That means Mercedes are dependent on Lewis and that’s why he doesn’t have to hurry.”

Even as recently as last Sunday, when Hamilton equalled Schumacher's record of 91 wins at the Nurburgring, the Briton showed why he is a step above his teammate.

“Michael was a pure winning machine in and out of the car,” Sky Sports'  Martin Brundle began in the post-race column where he compared Hamilton and Schumacher.

“All the right people wanted to be in his team and be part of the success because he was so fast, so good. He largely dominated his teammates in and out of the car, whether he was using his right foot or his streetwise mental capacity and guile.

“Lewis is the same. A classic comment of his on Sunday post-race was that he could see Bottas was graining his front tyres and so he pushed.

"He was driving two Mercedes' at that point, and sure enough under braking and also with a few spots of rain, Valtteri locked his front wheel and ran wide.

“Valtteri made the comment that this gave Lewis advance warning of less grip, but whatever the circumstances Hamilton seized a lead he would not remotely relinquish despite ensuing safety cars.

“He threw Bottas a consolation prize after the race by complimenting his determination to regain the lead in Turn 2 of the opening lap, which was indeed a fine piece of aggressive and precision driving.”