F1: Lewis Hamilton goes cross-country skiing
Lewis Hamilton is yet to sign a new Mercedes contract. But Ross Brawn thinks it’s all for show, and that the Brit will eventually commit to an extension. He was in irresistible form in 2020, winning the F1 Drivers’ Championship for a record-equalling seventh time.
Mercedes have recently dropped numerous hints over a new Hamilton contract.
And Brawn, speaking to Racer.com, has expressed a belief that the 36-year-old will sign a new contract – while also claiming the current impasse is merely for show.
“It’s up to Mercedes and Lewis to find their solution, but it would be a great shame for Lewis (to stop),” Brawn said.
“I don’t imagine for a moment that it’s going to happen.
“I think Lewis loves the sport too much, Mercedes like Lewis too much. There’s a bit of jousting going on, clearly, between Toto and Lewis, and that’s all part of the entertainment!
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“But we want Lewis to continue. He’s a huge figure in the sport.
“He’s made people think – particularly this past year – on a number of issues which are associated with the sport but are perhaps not the focus of what we normally do, but things that are very important and have made people think and consider their approaches and attitudes. That’s been invaluable.
“He is an influential character, he’s good for our sport and probably one of the few megastars that we have in Formula 1 today.
“So for all sorts of reasons we want him to continue and I want him to continue.
“He’s got a record to break as well and I think driving for Mercedes is his best chance of doing it.”
Hamilton is currently level with Michael Schumacher when it comes to F1 Championships.
And he’ll be out to move in front of the Ferrari icon when the season gets under way in Bahrain in March.
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff recently opened up on the situation and insisted Hamilton was vital to the team, despite rumours claiming George Russell could replace him.
“Lewis is incredibly important, not only for our team but also for the Mercedes brand,” the Austrian said in late January.
“But the landscape is changing right now.
“We have a big regulation change next year and the cost cap that will hit us hard next year.
“These are all factors that have played a role in our discussions. Also, of course, looking at the future.
“And then it goes into detail and we don’t want to be put under pressure. It should be a reasonable agreement and we are not far away from that.”
Meanwhile, former F1 boss Eddie Jordan thinks Mercedes would be wrong to allow Hamilton to leave – despite the Brit entering the twilight years of his career.
“Mercedes are probably saying a lot of this is to do with the car and we’ve given him an outstanding chance to be World Champion because he has the best car. That’s not in dispute,” Jordan told the BBC.
“However, if they think they can replace Lewis Hamilton with another driver and have the same element of success then I think they are deluded.
“And one thing’s for sure – Mercedes and Wolff will not be easily deluded. He’s a very smart guy.
“He knows exactly the value of Lewis Hamilton and I think they will sit down and come to a good solution because the world of F1 needs Lewis Hamilton in it. He’s the jewel in the crown.”
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