Hamilton rips report Mercedes refusing to meet £40m contract demand

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Lewis Hamilton has called on the media to "stop making s**t up" after it was claimed Mercedes are refusing to meet salary demands for a new contract.

The six-time world champion's current deal expires at the end of 2020 and there has been speculation that money could be the main stumbling block in negotiations, with parent company Daimler looking to cut costs.

However, according to the British newspaper earlier this week, Hamilton only wants to increase his pay package from £36m-a-year now to £40m, but that is set to be met with firm resistance.

“Toto [Wolff] has told people around him that about £20m is as far as he is prepared to go," the Daily Mail quotes a source near the Mercedes boss as saying.

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This drew an angry response from Hamilton via an Instagram story.

“So the media keep writing about [a new] contract and me making demands, but I haven’t even spoken with Toto about it yet,” he claimed.

“No demands, the conversation hasn’t even begun. So please stop making sh*t up.”

After the initial report came out this week, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko stirred the pot, as he likes to do, suggesting Mercedes could raise the money from other areas.

“Someone else will pay it,” he was quoted by Grandpx.news. “Petronas only has to transfer a little less to the team and send it to Hamilton instead."

The Austrian though has backed calls for a limit on driver salaries, one of the biggest costs not included in the budget cap.

"A limit on the driver salary is essential," Marko added. "Of course, we still have to fulfil the current contracts, but we must do something in this area as soon as possible.”

Throughout this year, Hamilton has been calm over a new contract, insisting there was no rush to reach a deal.

And, talking to Sky Deutschland, Wolff has also hinted Mercedes will field an unchanged line-up next year.

“We are in a tricky situation, we are very happy with our current line-up and would like to continue with it," he said.

“You can’t write off someone like Seb [Vettel]. Maybe a driver doesn’t want to continue anymore and then Seb quickly becomes a factor.

“We’ll see how things develop in the next few weeks, but I expect we’ll continue with Lewis and Valtteri.”