Negotiations to renew Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes contract have been temporarily stalled after the team’s disastrous show at the iconic Monaco Grand Prix last weekend. The race at Monte Carlo, which usually has good bearings for the Mercedes F1 team, turned into a weekend of chaos this year. While Valtteri Bottas suffered the biggest blow due to a pit-stop error that led to his second DNF this season. His celebrated fellow driver Hamilton wasn’t having a great outing either.
The seven-time world champion not only struggled throughout the weekend but was also far away from the top five. He finished seventh at the Monaco GP and refused to take the blame upon himself for the poor show. The ensuing fracas has reportedly stalled negotiations between Hamilton and his Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff, Spanish news website Marca reported.
Wolff, who had recently renewed his contract as CEO for another three years, has reportedly been given a June deadline for the closing negotiations with the most successful driver in the history of the sport.
While discussions had gotten underway prior to the race in Monaco, things seemed to have gone wrong for the British driver there. However, after completing a disappointing outing, Hamilton came out criticising Mercedes team cand said that he “couldn’t have done any better" at the principality. He also pointed out that the team had not given him the right car as the vehicle didn’t take into account his driving style.
This isn’t the first time that negotiations between Hamilton and Wolff hit a rough patch. In 2020, the duo famously stalled contract negotiations only to come up with a one-year extension, meaning he will be out of contract again at the end of 2021. The plan was to get the current season out of the way and then work towards a long-term solution. However, with the recent results, Mercedes have opted for a cooldown phase for the time being which has left the contract talks hanging. This leaves Wolff to unravel the problem and revive the talks by as early as mid-June.
Hamilton also lost the lead of the world driver’s championships, while Mercedes lost the lead of the constructors’ championship.