Mercedes chief admits Hamilton contract 'just got really more expensive'

Istanbul (AFP) –


Team chief Toto Wolff conceded on Sunday that Mercedes' next contract with Lewis Hamilton had "got really more expensive" after the Briton had won an record-equalling seventh world title.

Wolff, the man behind Hamilton and Mercedes' amazing run of success since 2014, also forecast that the pair – who are both out of contract this year – would likely delay their contract finalisation talks until the season ends.

Hamilton was at his scintillating best at the treacherous rainswept Istanbul Park Circuit where he combined dazzling car control with flawless tyre management to win a momentous Turkish Grand Prix.

Afterwards, he made clear that he expects to stay in Formula One with Mercedes, but is in no hurry to sign a contract.

"I don't feel like I should add any pressure," he said.

"It has to be organic and not something that's forced – we have three races ahead in the Middle East so it's a bit more chilled.

"It's not done, but we will get it done I'm sure."

Wolff heaped praise on the 35-year-old Englishman after his record-extending 94th career victory and 10th in 14 races this year.

"It (the contract) just got really more expensive today!" he said.

"More than likely we are looking towards the end of the year now. It's not that we won't find the time for each other, but I don't want to put ourselves under pressure.

"We don't want to say 'before Bahrain' or 'before Abu Dhabi' that we will announce a new contract. There's no pressure. When it's done, it’s done."

Hamilton's desire to campaign for equality, diversity and sustainability, will energise his future commitment to his sport after reaching "the pinnacle of my life so far".

"There is a much bigger win that we all need to work towards together," he said. "That's pushing for equality so we create a better future."

Wolff, the architect for six of Hamilton's seven titles, added: "He loves racing and the competition, as does the team. If we didn't have the competition against the stopwatch, then life would not be as fun.

"So I see us going for more next year, putting another great year on, and then we have this tremendously challenging regulations change for 2022. So, we will go for a while."