This is surely the news all Mercedes fans were eagerly waiting for. Mercedes has extended the contract of Lewis Hamilton after getting the nod from the British driver for the ‘Verstappen clause’ in his contract. Although the clause is not entirely about Max Verstappen, it involves his mention in a different context.
Both Hamilton and Mercedes have reportedly been engaged closely for the new deal over the past few weeks. Hence, the Mercedes fans can take a sigh of relief. They all spent the last few weeks about random rumors surrounding Hamilton’s exit.
The talks regarding the new deal were not as smooth as everyone expected. Both Mercedes and Hamilton reportedly went into a deadlock regarding – “Who will have the bigger say in deciding Hamilton’s team-mate’’.
Reportedly, Hamilton has agreed to the ‘Verstappen clause’ that confirms his involvement in any decision regarding his team partner for the next few seasons.
What is the fuss regarding the ‘Verstappen clause’ in Lewis Hamilton’s contract?
The clause does not entirely relate to Verstappen. It applies to any driver that accompanies him at Mercedes. Subsequently, it is Verstappen (if he joins Mercedes) who has been deemed as the biggest threat to Hamilton’s supremacy currently. Hence, his mention in the clause played a crucial role in bringing both parties into an agreement.
Moreover, even Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, is quite eager to bring Verstappen to Brackley sometime in near future. However, that does not seem to happen anytime soon. Verstappen is still under contract with Red Bull until the end of the 2023 season.
Furthermore, Hamilton looks steady to compete for at least two more years. So, a potential arrival of Verstappen at Mercedes is still a distant dream for Wolff.
Speaking of the minutes of the contract, the British driver has said to be agreed to a one-year deal with an option to extend for another year. The contract reportedly won’t impact Hamilton’s current salary at Mercedes. Still, the 36-year-old is free to opt for random personal sponsorship deals on his overalls and helmet.
What do experts say about the contract extension of Lewis Hamilton?
Former F1 team manager Eddie Jordan expects Hamilton and Mercedes to have finally reached an agreement.
According to him, Hamilton can’t be over demanding in terms of his salary. Still, he must be given the required space to bring his personal sponsorship deals to the fold.
“Demanding ten percent of the team’s income is absurd,” Eddie Jordan said, “it doesn’t work because everyone is replaceable.
“But I would find Lewis getting some of the television money, for example, is justifiable. He sells Formula 1 the most by far. I also think it’s good that he has the right to market himself.
“He lured a top sponsor like Tommy Hilfiger to Mercedes. Any ordinary broker would have received ten percent for this.” Jordan added: “Lewis is the superstar of the scene. Formula 1 absolutely needs him.”
Hamilton is a part of the Mercedes team for the past 7 years. With him signing a new contract, it would be interesting to see how things unfold about his new partner at Brackley.