Jan.12 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Mercedes is positioning to keep world champion Lewis Hamilton well beyond the 2015 season.
Talks over the Briton’s expiring contract were scheduled towards the end and then just after the 2014 season.
But in what was interpreted as a ‘hurry up’ to the 30-year-old, boss Toto Wolff recently declared that Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas are first in line for Hamilton’s seat should he leave the Brackley team late this year.
Now, Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Mercedes “has prepared a three-year renewal (of the deal) for a fixed EUR 20 million per season”.
The report speculated that the deal to be presented to Hamilton, who is currently not represented by a manager, is for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Hamilton’s new contract may also include a million euro bonus for each race win, and 5 million for his third world title, La Gazzetta added.
Britain’s Daily Star said the Mercedes renewal beyond 2015 will make Hamilton the highest paid driver in F1.
He is quoted as saying: “Not everyone gets to work with such a great team. They helped me to my dream with a great and dominant car.”