Dec.17 - Lewis Hamilton's pre-2021 contract negotiations with Toto Wolff will be about "money".

That is the view of F1 legend Gerhard Berger, who says George Russell's highly impressive substitute drive in an ill Hamilton's place in Bahrain gave Mercedes boss Wolff more chips to play with.

"I would call it a matter of money," he told Servus TV, after Hamilton and Wolff announced that they are now finally planning to sit down to discuss a new deal.

"Russell showed that the primary factor is the car, as he was immediately in the lead in the race. Now he (Wolff) has an argument to say 'Lewis, please come down a little with your demands'."

Berger notes that Hamilton, 35 - who this year equalled Michael Schumacher's all-time record of seven world championships - is "eaten away by ambition".

"He sent messages all weekend when he couldn't drive," claims the Austrian, who drove for Ferrari and McLaren but is now boss of the German touring car series DTM.

"But he didn't write a single congratulation to Russell. He wants to dominate and play the main role. But Russell has already shown what he can do with a Williams as well," Berger added.

As for the rumours that Wolff might be able to slot Russell alongside Hamilton for 2021, Berger says the only problem with that is the existing contracts.

"Contracts must be kept and as far as I know, Bottas has a contract for 2021," he said. "They have committed already to going into the future with him."

However, "Bottas doesn't have the speed of Russell. I don't know whether they can decide behind the scenes to take a different route."


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8 F1 Fan comments on “Berger thinks Hamilton's contract talks will be about money

  1. Zach Stone

    Hamilton needs Mercedes to continue breaking records. In 2022, Mercedes should move Russell to the team. If that bothers Hamilton, he can leave. Toto Wolff is way too close to Hamilton to be handling the negotiations. Ola should take that over.

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      • Carl Buxton

        I'm not a particular fan of Hamilton, and I certainly don't agree with him bringing politics into the sport, for goodness sake that's a part of life where we hope to be able to put the World's troubles to one side for a few hours and indulge ourselves with the pleasures of hedonism with the glitz, glamour, colour, speed and noise of pure racing sport., although the lack of real competition and beautiful girls parading around spoils it somewhat for us old school brigade. However, to say Hamilton will be past his use-by date after winning next year's title is simply laughable!!

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        • shroppyfly

          Carl , if he asks for stupid money, then he his contract will simply not be renewed, even the hammy diehards have got to admit that one, of course all in my humble British opinion

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          • Carl Buxton

            Is it really ALL about money for Hamilton? His endorsements generate stupid money as it is - how much is enough? He may well, rightfully, demand a pay rise as befitting a newly crowned seven-time Champion. Wolff may well say Daimler are cutting back on F1 expenditure and he can only offer X amount. They will meet somewhere in the middle. Trust me, Hamilton wants to obliterate as many F1 records as he can so that they will never be beaten - he was mad as hell after catching Covid19 because it ruined his perfect record and despite not being 100% raced in Abu Dhabi to deny Russell a second attempt at proving the car was the reason for Hamilton's dominance more-so than his talent. Hamilton is selfish, single-minded and a bloody good racing driver, but with a massive chip on his shoulder!!

  2. Ferrari Fan for Life

    Russell deserves that seat after he showed what he could in less than a week of preparation. I'd tell Lewis to take a hike. They can get Constructor's championship without his huge pay rate.

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    • shroppyfly

      Mansell, i want a pay rise, im world champion , nawwww sorry, Hill , ive won the championship , i want a pay rise, nawwwww sorry, ok both were williams but, its a theme here in uk , just dont get to big for your boots,,, cant deny a good racing driver, but they allll good racing drivers as Russels merc race showed, who knows whatll happens , we wont know the anyway , but my guess is a 1yr contract and hammy is toast

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