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    Hamilton and Mercedes Close to New Contract as Monaco Grand Prix Looms

    Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are close to reaching an agreement on a new contract, putting an end to speculation about a move to Ferrari. Hamilton, a seven-time Formula One champion, confirmed that he has not held talks with the Italian team and is focused on extending his contract with Mercedes beyond the current season. His current contract with the Silver Arrows is set to expire soon.

    Hamilton expressed his gratitude for having a dedicated team working alongside Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff to negotiate the new contract. This arrangement allows him to focus on his driving duties while leaving the negotiations in the capable hands of others. Despite Mercedes’ competitiveness challenges since 2022, Hamilton has stated that these factors do not influence his desire to remain with the team.

    Hamilton and Ferrari both denied any contact between the driver and the Italian team. Hamilton attributed the speculations to the usual speculative nature of contract negotiations. He clarified that his team is collaborating closely with Wolff and that the contract is nearing completion. Hamilton also acknowledged that the process has been less stressful than previous negotiations, which he handled independently.

    Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur confirmed that the company has not made an offer to Hamilton and has not engaged in negotiations with him. Vasseur acknowledged that any Formula One team would welcome the opportunity to have Hamilton on their team, but he insisted that such rumours were false. Vasseur stated that it is premature for Ferrari to begin discussions about the futures of their current drivers, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, who are both under contract until the end of 2024.

    Hamilton expressed his excitement about testing the upgraded Mercedes car at the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix. This upgrade is the first step in the team’s development plan, which began after Wolff admitted their mistake in pursuing a unique car concept earlier in the season. The revised Mercedes design incorporates changes to the side pods, floor, and front suspension, drawing inspiration from Red Bull’s successful approach and Aston Martin’s surprising performance this season.

    Hamilton admitted that winning in Monaco would be difficult, but he remains optimistic that the team will be more competitive. He reaffirmed Mercedes’ status as a championship-winning team but admitted that mistakes in car design and decision-making had hampered their performance. George Russell, Hamilton’s teammate, echoed the sentiment, emphasizing that the peculiarities of the Monaco circuit make it difficult to draw definitive conclusions about the upgrade’s performance. The team intends to evaluate the effectiveness of the upgrades during the following race in Barcelona.

    Russell expressed confidence in the team’s ability to handle the upgrade and suggested that treating Monaco as a one-of-a-kind event would be prudent. He emphasized the importance of maximizing the car’s performance and dismissed the notion that the upgrade would cause any significant disruptions. The team’s decision to move forward with the upgrades was met with relief and excitement, as they seek to maximize their potential and avoid missed opportunities for improved performance.

    Finally, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are nearing the end of a new contract, with negotiations being handled by a dedicated team. Hamilton has denied any talks with Ferrari and has stated his commitment to Mercedes. The upcoming Monaco Grand Prix will serve as a testing ground for the team’s upgraded car, with the goal of correcting previous design flaws and improving performance. Both Hamilton and Russell maintain a measured approach, understanding the unique challenges posed by the Monaco circuit and deferring judgment until subsequent races.

    Main Image: Sky Sports

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