The Lewis Hamilton-Mercedes contract renewal saga has been going on from pre-season, wherein Hamilton and Mercedes both confirmed that a deal was on its way and would be signed ‘very soon’.
However, 8 Grand Prix later the talk about a contract renewal still persists as neither Mercedes nor Hamilton have put pen to paper regarding this multi-million dollar deal.
However, the wait seems to be finally over, as reports in the Daily Mail suggest that Hamilton is in line to sign a £40 million/year deal with Mercedes, keeping him with the team until 2020. A 3 year deal hasn’t been agreed upon because of the new regulations kicking in in 2021.
The deal is set to be announced before Silverstone or before the German Grand Prix and that would cement Hamilton’s place as the richest British athlete at the moment.
Hamilton staying at Mercedes could then trigger a series of moves in the F1 world, as Ricciardo will now have a number to benchmark against.
He will want to negotiate with Red Bull keeping in mind Hamilton’s £40 million/year deal and if he gets a sufficient enough hike he might stay.
Red Bull will need to bump Ricciardo’s deal up if they want him to stay despite bringing in the Honda engine.
Now, if Ricciardo stays at Red Bull, Leclerc might replace Raikkonen at Ferrari, but if Ricciardo decides to move, he could end up at Ferrari thereby shattering Leclerc’s immediate dream of getting a Ferrari seat.
Ricciardo could also chose to go to one from McLaren and Renault, something that he has hinted in the last few weeks.
If he does indeed move to one from McLaren and Renault, he must have identified something very similar to what Lewis identified in Mercedes when he made that ‘bold switch’.
Lewis Hamilton leads the driver’s championship and would be looking to extend his lead in Austria this weekend.