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Hamilton yet to open contract talks with Mercedes

By Dejan Kalinic

Barcelona, February 21: Lewis Hamilton revealed he was yet to begin contract talks with Mercedes as the world champion focuses on preparations for the 2020 Formula One season.

The six-time world champion is out of contract at the end of this season, which begins in Australia next month.

But Hamilton, who has been linked with a move to Ferrari, is in no rush to open talks with Mercedes.

"We haven't sat down. I know Toto [Wolff, Mercedes team principal] is keen to, but right now the focus is on trying to make sure I am fit and ready for the season ahead as it ramps up," Hamilton said at pre-season testing on Thursday.

"You want to start on the front foot so it is not something I really get bogged down with at this period of time."

Hamilton has won five championships since joining Mercedes in 2013, including the past three to move within one of Michael Schumacher's record of seven.

The 35-year-old Brit said there would be more to talks than just the rest of his driving career.

"People talk about freedom as if it is a bad thing, but it is not at all. Mercedes have allowed me to be who I want to be rather than keep me constricted and ask me to speak a certain way or dress a certain way," Hamilton said.

"There were question marks over all the different things I do, but everyone can see the results I have had over the last two years. The flexibility helps me to be more engaged and an even better driver than I thought I could be.

"It is now about trying to figure out what the next five-to-10-year plan is, and how the decision I make now will impact the future.

"Does it allow me to put certain things in place so that, when I hang up my helmet, I am able to continue to pursue other interests? That will be in the small print of what we agree and what we will mostly be talking about."

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Story first published: Friday, February 21, 2020, 5:30 [IST]
Other articles published on Feb 21, 2020
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