2024 deal still not ready for Hamilton
"Mercedes will want a certain amount of time from Lewis"
Reports that Mercedes would finally announce a 2024 deal for Lewis Hamilton prior to this weekend’s Dutch GP were wide of the mark.
It now seems clear that, despite the long delays whilst negotiating the new deal, there are still clear contractual stumbling blocks to jump.
"I am not aware Lewis is having a change of heart about whether he wants to go racing or not," said former F1 driver turned British television commentator David Coulthard.
"And I don’t think Mercedes are having second doubts," he told the Irish News.
Coulthard thinks the problem with 38-year-old Hamilton’s new contract is the time he will need to commit himself to non-racing matters.
"Mercedes will want a certain amount of time from Lewis for their partners," said the Scot.
"They will have sold sponsorship on obtaining access to their drivers. Some businesses will have signed up because Lewis is there, rather than George Russell.
"Perhaps Lewis might be wanting to do fewer days or have fewer commitments?" he wondered.
The Sun newspaper agrees that the "likely sticking point will centre on the amount of time Hamilton will be contractually obliged to be available for Mercedes’ sponsors".
"Hamilton is in the box seat," the British newspaper added. "He knows his worth to Mercedes in terms of his brand and is understandably willing to play hardball."
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