Jan.19 - Lewis Hamilton's plan to boost his financial and influential power at Mercedes has been "shattered".

That is the view of former F1 driver Christijan Albers, as seven time world champion Hamilton finally breaks his 2021 silence on his long-delayed new contract for this year.

Albers told De Telegraaf that he thinks the biggest problem for Hamilton's current situation came in Bahrain late last season, when George Russell shone so brightly in his Mercedes while the 36-year-old had covid-19.

"George Russell literally and figuratively shattered Hamilton's plan," Albers said.

It is reported that Hamilton and Mercedes are at a standoff, with many believing the latter is refusing to give in to the British driver's pay demands.

"What is the last 10 million to him?" Albers wondered. "The world is on fire. He has to realise that his business model no longer works.

"At the very least this is not good for Hamilton's image," he added.

Arturo Merzario, the driver perhaps best known for pulling Niki Lauda out of his 1976 fire, agrees that Russell's performance was the "fundamental problem" leading to the current delay.

"Perhaps he believed that a substitute would have a harder time than the high level that Russell showed in Sakhir," he told the Italian publication Sportal.

Merzario also thinks Hamilton will be nervous about Russell potentially becoming his teammate in 2022.

"It is probably not far from the truth that Hamilton does not want a teammate like that," he said. "For him, Valtteri Bottas is much better.

"Everyone in racing knows the rule that your first opponent is always your teammate in the same car. But Hamilton needs to be clear that things are changing," said Merzario.

"Sooner or later as a driver you come to the point where the younger ones overtake you. It's like that in every job - why should it be any different in Formula 1?"

It is highly notable that, amid rising speculation about the troubled negotiations, both Hamilton and Mercedes gave separate and vague updates on social media on Monday.

Hamilton said there is "lots of work ongoing in the background".

"Many moving parts but just checking in to let you know I'm doing good, I'm healthy and mentally strong right now in my bubble," he added.

Mercedes, meanwhile, posted an image of a Mercedes-branded pen, captioning it with a winking-face emoji face and: "You never know when one of these might come in handy."


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5 F1 Fan comments on “Is Hamilton's contract plan now shattered?

  1. Tarek

    Unless you have FACTS from Mercedes and or Lewis, all you are doing, much like other F1 media outlets, is peddling in opinion, sensationalism and conjecture without any thought for the Truth. Perhaps you can just "Report" rather then make up News.

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  2. LongWheelBase

    This is all about Hamilton wanting more control of his image and ability to make social and political statements. He pulled a power play at Shakir and Mercedes called his bluff. Russell would have won there if Mercedes hadn’t stopped him...twice. This indeed damaged Hamilton’s position, however he believes that he is too important to the sport for them to refuse his demands.

    However, Formula One does not want to become involved in the controversy that damaged American Football, Basketball, and Baseball. They are holding firm on their (usual) total control of the driver’s public image, as allowing drivers (and if you allow one, others will make similar demands) to start spouting off on politics and social issues will alienate at least some of their fan base (See: NBA and China) and could potentially be very, very expensive to the sport. Right now the focus is on the competition, and never the opinions of the drivers on world news or other controversial subjects.

    So the dilemma: Is having Hamilton for name-recognition in the sport for the short term (two or three more years?) worth the risk of damaging the Sport long term?

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  3. Ricardo sanchez

    El piloto britanico ,con el N°44 , es el mas afortunado de toda la historia de la categoria , sin dudas que es un gran piloto , pero no entra en el top ten , solo tuvo el mejor auto y sin rivales

    Reply

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