Hamilton says contract extension delay not down to driver salary cap

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Lewis Hamilton says the driver salary cap, that was agreed to in principle by all F1 teams, is not the reason why he is yet to sign a Mercedes contract extension.

The proposal calls for a $30 million driver salary cap to be introduced in 2023. With Lewis Hamilton’s salary already well over that number, the rule would call for a significant pay cut for the Briton. Despite this Hamilton says it is not the reason why he has yet to sign a contract extension with Mercedes.

“It has nothing to do with it,” said Hamilton.

“I didn’t even know that was being discussed. I think from a driver’s point of view it’s a surprise to us.

“We’ve obviously heard of the idea a while ago, I think it was last year in France maybe, but it was the first we have heard of it this week.

“I think it’s important that the GPDA work closely with F1 when we get into discussions moving forwards.”

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Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff thinks Hamilton and Mercedes will be able to reach a compromise when the time comes.

“The contribution that Lewis has had to the team’s success and also to Formula 1 gaining profile outside of the hardcore fans has been tremendous,” said the Austrian.

“That’s what we will always respect, what we have honoured in the past and what we will honour in the future.

“Lewis and I have always had respect for each other’s position and we dread that particular day because we have quite some discussions about the topic but we have always achieved a situation where we had a compromise that worked for both of us and I have no doubt that it will be the same this time around.”

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