Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton is not looking forward to negotiating a new contract with Mercedes but hopes a deal can be agreed “soon.”
The Briton, whose contract runs out at the end of 2020, clinched his sixth world title this month to become the second most successful driver in F1 history, but he says the thought of sitting down and thrashing out a new deal is “stressful.”
“It’s almost like I just did this contract and I’ve already got to start potentially talking about the next one,” he said, according to F1.
“It’s another stressful moment where you get into the room, get into the ring and have a friendly, yet intense, conversation about terms and all this kind of thing.
“But I’m used to it now. I like to think I’m a relatively good negotiator.”
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Plenty of success
Hamilton joined Mercedes as a professional driver in 2013 but his relationship with the team stretches back to his early teenage years, and he says both he and the team are “joined at the hip.”
He has won 62 races during his career at Mercedes and secured five of his six world titles with the team.
“Our word is our bond and has been all these years — Mercedes, since I was 13, have always stood by our word and vice-versa,” he added.
“You need to set some time aside to think about ‘where are we, what is the next goal, what else are we planning?'”
Hamilton is expected to secure a new deal but there were concerns in October that he was questioning his career in the sport.
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No cause for concern
Since converting to a plant-based diet in 2017, Hamilton has urged others to follow suit in order to “save our planet” and released a concerning message on social media saying he felt like “giving up on everything”.
“I want my life to mean something and honestly up until now my life’s had no meaning,” he said on Instagram at the time.
Along with concerns over the posts, his message drew criticism with many pointing to his substantial carbon footprint as an F1 driver who has previously owned a private jet in order to get to and from races.
However, his latest comment would suggest his career is very much at the forefront of his mind, and he sits just one world title behind the legendary Michael Schumacher.
“It’s daunting when you think of it coming up because you’re committing to a period of time in your life,” he said, speaking about the contract talks.
“Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that far ahead but of course it’s nice to be wanted. Hopefully, soon we’ll get it sorted.”