Lewis Hamilton keen to agree new Mercedes contract by the summer

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Lewis Hamilton wants to sign his next Mercedes deal by the summer in a further show of intent that this season will not be his last in Formula One.

Hamilton agreed only a one-year contract extension with the grid’s all-conquering team just six weeks before the start of his championship defence.

The length of his deal raised the prospect that Hamilton could quit the sport at the end of the year.

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But following his triumph in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix, which leaves him on course to win an unprecedented eighth world crown, Hamilton, 36, said: “On the contract, it would be great to get something in place before the summer break in August so we can be in that break and have a clearer picture of the future.

“We don’t have to rush anything but we have to be sensible and to start those conversations which are very complex.

“It is never a super-simple procedure, so hopefully soon we can start on that as long as it doesn’t interfere with the job.”

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Hamilton and Mercedes team-principal Toto Wolff spent the off-season thrashing out the Briton’s 12-month deal.

Wolff admitted that the two of them argued over Zoom as they attempted to agree terms.

But Hamilton added: “We never want to be in the position that we were in in January and February. It ruined my whole winter.

“And I am sure it wasn’t helpful for Toto. We couldn’t be off and relax so it felt like we didn’t really have much of a break.”

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With Hamilton signalling his desire to stay with the Silver Arrows, the identity of his team-mate for 2022 remains in the balance.

Valtteri Bottas is already 47 points behind Hamilton in the standings with George Russell, a Mercedes junior driver, continuing to impress in his uncompetitive Williams.

Wolff ruled out suggestions Russell could replace Bottas during this season but the Finn’s contract with Mercedes expires at the end of the year.

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