British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton wants his new contract with Mercedes to be wrapped up by Christmas. Hamilton ended the 2020 season with a historic seventh world championship title. Without a deal in place for 2021, he finished third in Abu Dhabi GP. However, Hamilton is hoping to finally conclude a new agreement by the end of next week. The current contract is due to end this year and the new one looks more a formality although Hamilton reportedly wants his pay to increase from 35 million pounds to 40 million pounds a year. Also Read - F1 News: Lewis Hamilton, Seven Time World Champion, to be Awarded Knighthood in New Year's Honours List
“Hopefully over the next couple weeks,” Hamilton replied in a press conference after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday when asked about when he hopes to complete the deal. Also Read - Red Bull's Max Verstappen Cruises to Win at Abu Dhabi GP, Lewis Hamilton Finishes Third
“We’d love to get it done before Christmas. I plan to be here next year, I want to be here next year and I think us as a team have more to do together, more to achieve both in the sport but even more outside the sport I think,” he added. Also Read - Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton Recovers From Coronavirus, Set to Race in Abu Dhabi GP
The 35-year-old Hamilton has always been vocal about his desire to continue his hugely-successful association with Mercedes. He has never previously left a contract renewal this late but talks have been delayed by the exhausting F1 season since July. The world champion contracted the virus and was sidelined for a race.
“I hope we can begin discussions this week and get it tied up before Christmas,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton has been with Mercedes since 2013. During his time with the team he’s won six titles and 74 races, becoming the all-time record holder for victories.
In other major F1 transfers, Red Bull set to decide on Alex Albon or Sergio Perez, while Yuki Tsunoda set to be named at AlphaTauri in the other vacant seat for next season.