With just weeks left on his Mercedes contract, Lewis Hamilton is ready to sit down with team boss Toto Wolff to settle on a new mega money deal extending his involvement in Formula One.
Hamilton is one of the last drivers on the grid to not have his 2021 F1 plans set in stone having held out on negotiating while chasing his seventh world championship, which was sewn up in Turkey on the weekend.
The Briton has kept Mercedes waiting over contract talks — normally completed by September — fuelling speculation earlier in the year he could be ready to call it quits.
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But with a record eighth world title in his sights, and with his F1 platform aiding a push for equality, Hamilton says he feels like he’s “only just getting started”.
“I would love to stay,” Hamilton said. “I feel like we’ve got a lot of work to do here. You know that we’ve only just begun.
“I want to push to hold ourselves accountable as a sport, to realise that we’ve got to face and not ignore the human rights issues that are around the countries that we go to.”
He added that he also wants to be involved in helping the sport move to become more sustainable.
“I want to try and see if I can be part of that, at least the initial phase of that, for a little bit longer,” he said.
To do so, he’ll finally sit down with Mercedes in the coming days to thrash out a deal that satisfies both parties.
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Already making a reported £40 million a year (A$72.2m), SunSport reports that Hamilton could settle on the same annual salary due to cost-cutting and the F1 cost-cap that will be introduced next year.
The publication reports that the deal is expected to be worth £120 million (A$216.6m) over three years, taking Hamilton to within days of his 39th birthday.
Wolff, whose own future at Mercedes is yet to be determined, said on Monday that the contract talks will start as soon as this week.
“We’re going to give it a few days then we are going to talk about it,” he told BBC Sport.
“Our relationship is much beyond business, it is one of friendship, one of trust.
“This one day of negotiations is something we don’t enjoy as it’s the only time where we are not having shared objectives. The best deal is one where both parties walk off not completely satisfied.”