Hamilton on verge of new deal


Published: Saturday 7th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Lewis Hamilton has conceded to being on the brink of tying himself to Mercedes for the next few years after undergoing what he has described as “a nerve-racking experience”.

Hamilton has been conducting his own contract negotiations in recent weeks after opting to dispense with the services of entertainment guru Simon Fuller and management company XIX last year.

Hamilton is now close to putting pen to paper on the new deal, with his initial three-year contract due to expire at the end of the forthcoming new Formula One season.

“Hopefully we’re in the final stages,” said Hamilton, who embarks on the defence of his second F1 crown in the season-opening grand prix in Australia next weekend.

“I don’t really know what the timeline is. We’re not rushing, but we’re very much in the last stages of it.”

As to whether such details are finalised before the event in Melbourne, Hamilton replied: “I don’t think it makes a difference, not in terms of my preparations.

“It might for the team, although I don’t think so. We’re committed for this year anyway, contractually, so it would just be one less thing to think about.”

Asked whether the deal could be his last in F1, the 30-year-old replied: “It’s very difficult to say.

“It’s very difficult to envisage anything in the future, but for the next few years, for the foreseeable future, I’m committed to this team.”

As to whether Hamilton has enjoyed thrashing out the nuances of the deal, he said: “Have I enjoyed it? I’m not too sure.

“It’s been an experience. Learning something new and experiencing something like this, I’m glad I’ve done it.

“If I’d gone through my whole career and not done something like this then I would have always been wondering if I could or not.

“It’s a very, very nerve-racking kind of experience, but I just tried to do the best job I possibly could.

“I learned a lot from my dad, a lot from Simon and the people around me.

“But in general I just tried to do my due diligence and understand where we are, what best can be improved on and where it can grow to benefit the team and myself.

“Toto (Wolff, Mercedes motorsport boss) and Niki (Lauda, non-executive chairman) are very easy to speak to. It’s not all just cold.

“Whilst it’s business, we’ve a respect for each other and a willingness on both sides to want to continue working together which has made it so much easier.”

Hamilton, meanwhile, is adamant he is firmly focused on his attempt to become a three-time champion despite the latest recent heartbreak.

Hamilton has split again from on-off girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger, but unlike previous personal issues that have often gone on to affect him on track, he is confident that will not be the case on this occasion.

Citing the mental toughness he felt he acquired in his battle with team-mate Nico Rosberg last season, Hamilton said: “Last year I adapted.

“I developed a mental attitude I would like to say was impenetrable.

“Of course, in previous years it has been the case where it (a break up) has affected my life in general.

“But I feel I still carry that kind of mentality from last year and whilst it’s not been easy, having been in this position before I feel stronger than ever, so I don’t feel it’s going to be a problem.

“I still feel like I’ve enough in place to do what I need to do and to be the best I can be.”

Published: Saturday 7th March 2015 by The News Editor

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