X

Lewis Hamilton Reveals Mercedes Contract Delay, Labels Talks 'Pain in Backside'

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 29:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP looks on as he stands on the podium aftrer finishing second in the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang Circuit on March 29, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Lars Baron/Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton has admitted representing himself in contract negotiations with Mercedes is a "pain in the backside."

As reported by Pete Gill and William Esler of Sky Sports, the Formula One champion now thinks it is "unlikely" an extension will be agreed in time for Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix. Although a deal has been "agreed in principle," per Gill and Esler, Hamilton suggests the delay may come from opting to sort things himself:

Obviously at the last race I said it would be done within a week, this is my first time negotiating myself and you don’t know how many times I’ve had to read about 80 pages—it is so much reading and it is all in lawyer jargon. So it has been a quite a pain in the backside to be honest.

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 29:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP drives during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang Circuit on March 29, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

The British driver's current contract runs until the end of the campaign. Hamilton claimed his second title last season, his first with Mercedes, and is currently leading this year's drivers' championship after two races. He won a mundane opener at the Australian Grand Prix before finishing second behind Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari in Malaysia. Three points currently separate the two drivers.

Formula One's official Twitter account suggested Hamilton is likely to be successful in Shanghai:

Formula 1 @F1

.@LewisHamilton's #ChineseGP records: - 3 wins - 4 poles - 6 podiums - 141 laps led More: http://t.co/qfkLXTHwWU http://t.co/DE64jYa22S

He remains one of the sport's biggest stars, so Mercedes will want to secure his extended tenure as quickly as possible. Despite run-ins with team-mate Nico Rosberg last season, the pair have consistently dominated together. 

Ian Parkes of the Press Association (h/t Daily Mail) believes Hamilton's new deal could be worth up to £21 million per year. Paul Weaver of The Guardian previously indicated his new contract could run until 2018. Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda noted "there is no problem with the contract" prior to the start of the current season," per Weaver. 

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 29:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP attends the drivers' parade before the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang Circuit on March 29, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

However, having decided to run through the small print without an agent for the first time in his career, it seems Hamilton is becoming flustered by the wealth of information he needs to sift through.

This is likely to be a temporary hold-up, and after such a fine championship-winning year, we can expect Hamilton to commit to Mercedes for the foreseeable future.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.