Lewis Hamilton can be ‘a bit fussier’ than George Russell during Mercedes contract talks

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Lewis Hamilton is yet to sign his Mercedes contract for the 2021 season despite the new campaign creeping upon us. Express Sport understands that the Silver Arrows are confident that an agreement will be reached before pre-season testing commences in March.

So why the hold up?

Various reports suggest that Hamilton is demanding that his £40million-a-year salary remains in tact, despite Mercedes looking to cut costs.

There could be other various discussions going on behind the scenes which clauses often a hot topic on conversation.

Williams star George Russell has been linked with replacing Hamilton should he not agree terms with Toto Wolff.

But channel 4 commentator and former F1 driver Coulthard has attempted to explain what usually holds up contract talks – using Russell as an example.

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It is usually always defied around time and location,” he told Express Sport.

“People like Lewis will have more control over his time and someone like George Russell will probably have a very open contract which says ‘you need to be available when we reasonably ask you to be available’, which is fine.

“When you are a young driver it doesn’t matter but when you get more experienced of course you become a bit fussier.”

He added: “I think that the primary purpose of a contract is to stipulate the payment for your services but also what you are required to deliver for your services.

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“That could be how many personal appearances away from a Grand Prix track, how many personal appearances during a Grand Prix weekend, how far they can be from your hotel, how long they can last.

“You could have a half an hour appearance but if it is one hour away from your hotel it is two and a half hours out of your evening, you end up getting back late and not getting a good night’s sleep.

“You have to make sure the drivers are well prepared for the Grand Prix but it is also in the team’s interest to make sure the primary sponsors and partners are getting value for the millions that they spend.”

Meanwhile, Wolff has ruled out using Russell during negotiations with Hamilton.

“We never played the George Russell card on him,” he told ORF.

“George did extremely well and will someday sit in a top car but in our long-term partnership (the Hamilton/Mercedes one), it’s not about making any threatening gestures.

“We knew we wanted to drive together and now we just have to negotiate the contract.”

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