Let's begin! Hamilton and Mercedes to discuss new contract in February

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Image: TeamTalk
Image: TeamTalk

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is confident of thrashing out a new deal with Lewis Hamilton when they sit down later in February.

The quiet off-season has allowed the rumour mill to be sent spinning into action again.

Hamilton was reportedly close to agreeing a new two-year deal with the Silver Arrows, only for Spanish press to then say that the deal had broken down over a financial disagreement.

Hamilton said via Instagram that he had not even properly spoken to his boss over the winter and Wolff confirmed that contact had been minimal.

Discussions will continue again as teams progress through launch week and pre-season testing in Barcelona.

Wolff told Auto Motor und Sport: "The last time we met was at the Christmas party. We chatted a bit about the future but since then we have only talked via WhatsApp. We decided to leave ourselves alone in December and January. When it starts again in February, we will sit down and discuss."

He has options

One of the widely held viewpoints is that Hamilton holds all the cards in the negotiations given his status as the highest-paid driver on the grid and as a six-time World Champion.

Wolff agrees that Hamilton will never be short of approaches, but feels Mercedes do hold some weight in the discussions, too. As a result, he is quietly confident that a new deal can be agreed.

Wolff added: "As a driver at his level, Lewis always has options. The same goes for us. As long as we build a fast car, we will always be in a situation where we can choose the drivers. No matter how hard it was, in the end, there was always a handshake.

"Lewis wants to drive the fastest car and we want the best driver."

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