Mercedes backed to make ‘very powerful statement’ against Lewis Hamilton

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Former F1 driver Jan Lammers reckons Mercedes could take a firm approach with Lewis Hamilton and not give in to his contract demands in a move which would send a “very strong statement” to their staff and customers.

Hamilton is technically unemployed after his most recent Mercedes contract came to an end last month.

The Brit is in regular talks with Toto Wolff and both parties expect a deal to be wrapped up before pre-season testing begins in March.

However, there are a couple issues which first need to be ironed out.

Hamilton is apparently holding out to keep his £40million-a-year salary, but the Silver Arrows are keen to cut costs.

Lammers reckons Mercedes would be best to stand firm with the seven-time world champion by refusing his wage demands.

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“It could be that Hamilton is overestimating his market value and underestimating the situation in the world,” Lammers told RacingNews365.

“Meanwhile, I think Mercedes are limited in what they can offer Hamilton morally.

“How can you justify it to the staff and the management that he continues to receive his multi-million salary while people elsewhere in the company have to lay off people?

“With these kinds of things, you have to be careful not to go too far. What Hamilton does not seem to fully realise is that there is, of course, a great opportunity for Mercedes as well.

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“The company just wants to sell cars and then the question is ‘what do you get more from? Is that with the next world title?’

“That would be great, of course, but many people don’t care about that. Or would a statement against Hamilton’s multi-million dollar salary do more for loyalty?

“I personally think Mercedes have the chance to make a very powerful statement by stating that the loyalty lies with the Mercedes customers and employees and not with one sportsman.

“I think that has been a little under-exposed.”

There are no other seats on the grid for Hamilton to take if he does not accept Mercedes’ contract offer.

The Brit is hoping to pulled away from the Drivers’ Championship record he shares with Michael Schumacher this year.

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