Lewis Hamilton compared to Schumacher by David Coulthard
Lewis Hamilton, as it stands, is yet to sign a new contract with Mercedes. Reports have suggested the Silver Arrows’ parent company Daimler blocked a huge $200million, four-year deal for the Brit because of concerns about potentially over-committing. And he’s already held talks with Ferrari, suggesting a switch can’t be ruled out.
Hamilton was in devastating form on the Formula One track in 2020.
The 35-year-old cruised to a seventh F1 Drivers’ Championship, finishing way ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen, to draw level with the iconic Michael Schumacher.
He’s now got the most pole positions in the sport’s entire history, while also boasting the best statistics when it comes to podium finishes – with 163 to his name.
Hamilton has now further cemented his status as a global megastar but, despite all that, his future with Mercedes remains up in the air.
And recent reports have suggested Mercedes, though they’d like to keep him, aren’t willing to break the bank.
Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport claimed on Saturday that the Silver Arrows’ parent company Daimler blocked a huge $200m, four-year deal for the Brit.
That’s because they don’t want to commit such a huge amount on a driver who will turn 36 in January.
Mercedes are keeping a close eye on the progress of George Russell, who impressed when he replaced Hamilton at the Sakhir Grand Prix late last year.
The 22-year-old stood in for the Stevenage-born driver while he was recovering from coronavirus.
Russell was poised to win the race on two occasions but issues at the pit stop, coupled with a puncture, ultimately prevented him from claiming victory.
He still managed to finish a respectable ninth, however, and outshone Bottas on the day.
Mercedes are now torn, it seems, yet the Evening Standard claimed in December that Hamilton had held talks with Ferrari about a potential move.
So it’s feasible that they could be his next destination should the Silver Arrows opt against meeting the Brit’s massive salary demands.
That would see him follow in the same footsteps as icon Schumacher, who spent the most successful years of his career with the team.
Meanwhile, Motorsport UK chairman David Richards has had his say on Hamilton.
And he feels the 35-year-old will only walk away from the sport when he runs out of motivation for racing.
Asked if he thinks Hamilton will retire if he wins an eighth world championship this year, Richards told Sky Sports News: “That’s the question for Lewis, you’d have to ask him.
“He’s one of these characters that will carry on going as long as he’s motivated.
“The day he gets out of bed and thinks ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’, he won’t do it anymore. He’s got lots of other things that he could take up.
“He’s involved in Extreme E and I’m sure environmental racing will have a big place in the future as well.
“But it’s too early to say, I think next year is going to be another strong year for Lewis, that’s for certain.”
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