Hamilton suggests off-track & post-F1 activities key in new Mercedes deal

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Lewis Hamilton has indicated his off-track and post-Formula 1 career activities will be the focus of negotiations over a new Mercedes contract.

In a year which has seen a three-month shutdown due to Covid-19 and a hectic 17-race calendar from July, the Briton and the Brackley-based team are finally set to commence talks perhaps in the coming days to keep Hamilton at Mercedes beyond 2020.

While it is widely expected that a new deal will be reached, what isn't known is how long the newly crowned seven-time world champion will commit for.

However, asked about what will be his priorities in those contract discussions, Hamilton replied...

“Believe it or not, I haven’t got it set in stone,” he told The Race.

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“I haven’t got all the answers to what I want to do yet. The foundation of the contract that I have, I believe is the best contract that there is in terms of how it’s structured, in terms of time management, the team that’s put around me.

“It’s been great. [But] I’m always looking to see how we can improve. How can I be more efficient and do more for the partners? How can I position myself to do more for the team?”

The 35-year-old also indicated there would be a look at the very long-term and what he will do when he decides to call it a day from driving.

“It’s easy just to go and sign a deal and continue not having thought of what’s afterwards,” he said.

“I’m very conscious of the idea that I do want to continue with Mercedes, I would love to help them on this quest pushing for change.

“That’s pushing towards making their cars green, and electric, I want to help them on that road.

“I’d like to help them in terms of pushing for diversity because within the organisation as with every organisation out there, there’s not enough of it.

“So, there’s a lot to discuss, and a lot to go through.”

One factor often mentioned regarding Hamilton's future as a driver is the future of Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, who has admitted to seeking his successor.

However, in Istanbul last week, he once again reaffirmed his confidence the delay in re-signing Hamilton was not a signal of his looming departure.

“We have established a mutual relationship of trust,” the Austrian told Sky Sports.

“Regularly we have given good feedback to each other, there is no reason why Lewis wouldn’t want to be in a very competitive car like the Mercedes.

“And we have no reason to think about an alternative driver, so that is a perfect symbiosis and I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t continue.”

By waiting this long, however, with Hamilton having now become statistically the greatest driver in F1 history, does that mean Mercedes have to bow to his every demand?

“No, we're not at all cornered. It’s a good dependence on each other; we would like him in the car, and I think he wants to drive the Mercedes because it’s competitive, so no, I think there is a good balance,” Wolff claimed.

“I don’t want to drop a date here because if I do everybody’s going to ask at every single race, but this is what we agreed.

“I think it was important to make sure we had both titles secured and then have a more relaxed approach to the discussion about the future.”