Lewis Hamilton given one-month deadline to complete £40m contract talks by Mercedes as F1 team give him until March 2
LEWIS HAMILTON has been given a one-month deadline by Mercedes to decide on a £40million new contract.
The German giants announced they will unveil this year's car on March 2 – exactly one month from now.
And Mercedes also insisted they will have both drivers in place before the new wheels are revealed to the world.
Hamilton, 36, has been locked in contract talks after winning his seventh world title last season.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff is confident that the world champion will put pen to paper shortly.
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Negotiations are thought to have been thrown off by Wolff contracting coronavirus last month with the team boss speaking of 'curveballs' delaying an agreement.
But, in conversation with German outlet RTL, the 49-year-old insisted that the deal will be signed 'soon'.
The timing of the agreement will enable Hamilton to be in the car for the start of the new season and March's testing in Bahrain.
Wolff stated his belief that the parties must come to a 'sensible agreement'.
And he added that Mercedes and Hamilton are 'not far' from settling on a package.
The seven-time world champion is thought to be holding out for a £40million salary plus entitlements to TV and sponsorship earnings he brings to the team.
The constructors champions are the last Formula One team able to formally confirm their line-up for the 2021 season.
Despite the lengthy delay in the Brit putting pen to paper, Wolff is adamant that the duo have maintained their strong working relationship.
Wolff said: "Our relationship is not only professional, but also a friendship.
"Lewis is incredibly important, not only for our team, but also for the Mercedes brand."
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