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Lewis Hamilton: Toto Wolff says there is no rush to finalise F1 champion’s new contract

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Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning his seventh world title
Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of seven Formula 1 world championship this year

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff says there is no rush to finalise Lewis Hamilton’s new contract and it could wait until well into the new year.

Hamilton’s deal runs out at the end of 2020 and talks are at an early stage.

Wolff said: “We are not worried about eventually getting it done. We are not putting a special date to it because we don’t want to be under pressure.

“Sooner or later it needs to be done and at the latest before we go testing [ahead of the 2021 season].”

Pre-season testing next year runs over just three days at Spain’s Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on 2-4 March.

Wolff said that he and Hamilton had always intended not to start contract negotiations until this year’s championship titles were won.

But he said Hamilton contracting coronavirus before the penultimate race of the season had “delayed us a little bit”.

Wolff added: “We had such a successful run of championships in the past seven years there is no reason not to continue. He is on the top of his game and will be for a while, and that’s why continuing together is a no-brainer.”

Mercedes announced on Friday that chemicals giant Ineos was to take a one-third shareholding in the team, with Daimler and Wolff holding equal amounts.

Ineos boss Sir Jim Ratcliffe said: “Lewis is either the greatest, or one of the two or three greatest ever racing drivers. There is absolutely no question about that; he’s just got immense talent. And he is a very likeable chap because I’ve got to know him a little bit.

“But at the end of the day all these decisions predominantly sit with Toto. Toto has to run that team.

“The one thing I would say about Lewis is there has been no diminution of his skills. He clearly is absolutely at the top of his game, despite the fact he is 35.”

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