Reigning Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton had hoped his new contract with Mercedes would be signed by now, saying negotiations were “99.6% done”, but now says he is becoming frustrated by ongoing issues.
The 30-year-old has bemoaned the ongoing deliberations over his rumoured £21m-a-year contract, describing them as “a pain in the backside”.
After the Malaysian Grand Prix at the end of March it seemed as if the new deal would be announced imminently, with Hamilton saying:
“It should be done this week. There is no reason it shouldn’t. Honestly, it’s 99.6% done. There’s no negotiating left, it’s just legal stuff.”
However, 11 days on, Hamilton has now had to admit that things are not going as smoothly as he would have liked.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, he said: “Obviously at the last race I said it would be done within a week. This is my first time negotiating myself and you don’t know how many times I’ve had to read about 80 pages.
“It is so much reading and it is all in lawyer jargon, so it has been quite a pain in the backside to be honest.”
Discussions over the deal are thought to have started in 2014 and both parties will want the issue resolved as soon as possible with the new season well underway.
Hamilton leads the Drivers Rankings again but is only three points ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel after the German’s shock win in Malaysia.
Despite the ongoing issues, Hamilton is odds-on favourite to win the upcoming Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai and to defend the Drivers Championship this season.