Hamilton makes ‘catastrophic’ contract comment and makes fight joke

Lewis Hamilton has assured fans that he will sign a contract renewal with Mercedes commenting that it would take something ‘catastrophic’ for the deal not to be done. The seven-time world champion then joked that if an agreement is not made then he will fight team principal Toto Wolff.

Hamilton’s comments came amid growing concerns that the 38-year-old is delaying negotiations with former world champion Damon Hill believing Hamilton is biding his time. The British star has hit back at Hill’s comments and provided a light-hearted update on the contract negotiation. He said: “We will get there – unless something catastrophic happens with me and Toto then we will get into the ring!”

Some pundits believe that Hamilton is delaying a contract agreement with the Silver Arrows until it is apparent how competitive their new W14 model is in comparison to rivals Red Bull and Ferrari. Last season Hamilton went without a Grand Prix race win and finished sixth in the driver’s championship after being vocal in his criticism over Mercedes’ car.

Hamilton, however, is adamant the contract renewal will be signed as he added: “Of course I’d love to start the season with a great car but there is no hold-up with the contract. I’ve always been very, very relaxed and I don’t feel I have to get it done right this second. I’m in a very fortunate position. There will be a time when it will be signed.

“I’ve got a great relationship with Toto [Wolff] and Mercedes and we always support each other. I’m really excited about the future and really proud of the work we’re doing on and off the track. We’ll get there.”

The new Mercedes car failed to match the pace of their rivals in pre-season testing last week in Bahrain. However, Hamilton is positive that the problems which plagued his team last year are behind them ahead of the new season starting this weekend.

He added: “I knew from when I had driven the car where we were and the challenges that we would be facing. On a positive note, not having the bouncing this year is a huge plus. Trying to understand what the problems were whilst having bouncing made it difficult. So now we can focus on just pure performance.

“I’m encouraged to see the focus – everyone is so focused on getting us back to the top. We are not where we wanted to start a season, naturally, but this is still a multi-championship winning team and a good group of people I believe in.”

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