Hamilton close to new Mercedes deal until the end of 2022 - report

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Lewis Hamilton is on the brink of committing his future to Mercedes until the end of 2022, La Gazzetta dello Sport claims.

The six-time world champion is out of contract at the end of this season and, starting at last year's Abu Dhabi GP, speculation has linked the Briton to a blockbuster move to Ferrari following news he made contact with chairman John Elkann.

But, after newly announced deals for Max Verstappen at Red Bull and Charles Leclerc with the Scuderia, it has become imperative for the Brackley-based squad to retain their star driver and it appears that is exactly what will now happen.

"Lewis Hamilton is in discussion with Mercedes over the renewal of his contract,” the Italian publication stated.

“The negotiation, which will see Hamilton extend his stay until the end of 2022, is at an advanced stage and is worth in the region of 45m Euros a year with bonuses.”

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Before the revelations about his contact with Elkann emerged, Hamilton often suggested continuing at Mercedes was more likely due to his long-time association.

“I know I look good in red but it’s a very, very difficult scenario,” he told Channel 4.

“I’ve been with Mercedes since I was 13. Change is always cool but loyalty is everything, that is why I have this tattoo [on his left arm].

“I’m not going to be racing forever… what am I going to do in the future? Do I want to remain part of Mercedes doing something quite epic beyond racing?

“If I was, for example, going to shift [teams] then I don’t know what that is going to look like.”

In the immediate term, Hamilton has only a single goal in mind in 2020, match Michael Schumacher's record of seven F1 titles.

And in a reflective Instagram post, he issued a warning to his competition.

“To own a home that I love so much, get to create so many wonderful memories brings me more happiness than I ever thought I could deserve,” he wrote.

“I am at peace when I’m here, can focus and build my mind and body so that I can come back year on year.

“I’m going to be a machine this year, on another level than ever before!”

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