No deadline for new Hamilton deal

Published: Tuesday 10th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff is hopeful of concluding contract negotiations with Lewis Hamilton before the start of the new Formula One season, but is refusing to impose any deadline.

Tentative talks between Hamilton and Wolff are under way months after the latter had initially targeted a resolution following Hamilton’s title triumph in the final grand prix of last year in Abu Dhabi in November.

Driver and team have so far made clear they have every intention of continuing to work together beyond the expiry of Hamilton’s current deal at the end of this campaign.

Ideally, Wolff would love for the discussions to be done and dusted ahead of the curtain-raising race in Australia on March 15, but is also aware there is no mad rush.

“It is always beneficial you have a clear situation, for the driver and ourselves,” said Wolff, speaking to Press Association Sport.

“That is the best case, but you want to get it right as well, so it needs time.

“There is no reason for us to believe it is not going to go in the way we think is right, and Lewis thinks is right.

“Therefore we should aim to finish the discussions before the start of the season.

“But this is not a deadline we have set ourselves because the moment you set deadlines you put yourself under pressure, and we don’t want to put him or us under pressure.”

Without representation after dispensing with the services of management company XIX Entertainment last year, Hamilton is now negotiating his own terms.

According to Wolff, that is not proving a problem, adding: “Contract discussions are extremely important, both for Lewis and ourselves. It’s about discussing how the next couple of years are going to go.

“This is not something that happens from one day to the other, and you cannot expect it to be easy.

“But because of the great relationship we enjoy with Lewis and the very transparent way we deal with each other, so far it has been very good.

“We (the team) have been very open and honest with the way we see the future panning out, and he has been the same.

“He is an intelligent driver, has developed as a personality – I hope we have played our part – and so far the discussions have been as expected.”

Published: Tuesday 10th February 2015 by The News Editor

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