Mar.31 (GMM/ Lewis Hamilton’s new Mercedes deal is still inching towards the signatures, the reigning world champion says.

After months of rumours, delays and public negotiations, the British driver said before Malaysia that he was hoping his contract for 2016 and beyond will be ready for an announcement before the race weekend ended.

It didn’t happen, but one Spanish report said the sides have now fully agreed and a public declaration is now imminent.

Hamilton, 30, has now backed that suggestion, as British newspapers suggest a deal worth about $40 million a year for the two-time title winner is on the table.

“It should be done this week,” he is quoted as saying. “There is no reason why not.

“It’s honestly 99.6 per cent done. Yeah, just the legal stuff (is outstanding),” added Hamilton. “There’s no negotiating left.”

He rubbished reports a move to Ferrari might still be on the cards, following rumours and also confirmed reports that Hamilton recently bought an ultra-rare ‘LaFerrari’ supercar.

“No, don’t be silly,” Hamilton insisted.