Mika Häkkinen on Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes contract negotiations

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Two-time Formula 1 champion Mika Häkkinen says it’s “unusual to leave a contract negotiation until after a season has finished”, but believes a deal will be made.

In his Unibet column former McLaren Mercedes driver Mika Häkkinen talked about Mercedes’ performance at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“This time Mercedes were unable to quite match Max’s strong pace in qualifying, and after making a really perfect start he opened up the necessary gap during the first two laps to avoid any serious challenge from either Valtteri Bottas or Lewis Hamilton,” wrote the Finn.

“Mercedes stopped development on their car some time ago, switching their attention to the 2021 and 2022 car projects, and I suspect this has played its part in them not being quite as dominant at the end of year.

“Added to that, they were being conservative with engine performance, but none of this takes away from Max’s great drive.

“Valtteri’s second placed finish confirmed him as runner-up to Lewis in the World Championship for Driver, a perfect result for Mercedes during a season in which they won 13 of the 17 races and finished 254 points ahead of Red Bull in the team’s series.”

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Häkkinen then turned to the fact that Lewis Hamilton is yet to reach a new deal with Mercedes for 2021 and beyond.

“Lewis did well to come back less than two weeks after testing position for Covid, and he will now focus on finalising his contract for next season.

“It is unusual to leave a contract negotiation until after a season has finished, but when you consider the success they have had together I am sure that Lewis and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff will not take many days to finalise a new deal.

“The question many people are asking, of course, is for how many more years Lewis will recommit to Formula 1?

“Two years with an option for a third would take Lewis all the way to the end of 2023 when he will be about to turn 39 years of age.

“Meanwhile his enthusiasm and motivation for Formula 1 appears undiminished as he focuses on an eighth World Championship title,” concluded the two-time champion.

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