LEWIS HAMILTON is expected to sign a new deal with Mercedes within weeks after boss Toto Wolff declared they were entering the 'hot phase' of negotiations.
Hamilton was quizzed by SunSport last week about negotiations with Wolff over a new deal – believed to be a two-year contract.
The world champion confirmed that 'positive' discussions had started about extending his stay with the team.
And now in an interview with German paper Bild, Wolff revealed they are 'closer to an agreement'.
He said: "We have such a close relationship and we talk to each other again and again when traveling or off the racetrack.
"Of course, also about what an agreement could look like for the years to come.
"If I were to say that the contract has already been signed, that would not be correct. But we are beyond the status of exploratory talks.
"Now it's the hot phase. I think we are way closer to an agreement than a separation. Because we also agreed that it is better not to negotiate until February, as was the case this year."
CASINO SIGN UP OFFER: GET £10 FREE BONUS WITH NO DEPOSIT REQUIRED
🏁F1 2021 calendar: practice times, dates and racetrack info
Hamilton, 36, only signed a 10-month deal earlier this year, worth around £40million, yet his new contract is set to dip down to around £30m per year.
The deal is likely to form an extension to the joint foundation between the two that strives to support diversity and inclusion in all Merc's motorsport programmes.
Once Hamilton's future is tied up, Mercedes will switch their attention to lining up his team-mate.
George Russell is increasingly likely to get the nod to replace Valtteri Bottas, despite the Finn's partnership with Hamilton.
Meanwhile, former Mercedes boss Ross Brawn has accused the team of 'trying too hard' as they have 'stumbled a bit' in their title fight with Red Bull.
He added: "This is the fascinating thing about F1. Sometimes you win races you shouldn't win. Sometimes you don't win races you should win.
"It did feel at the beginning of the year that Red Bull, who were a very slick operation, fumbled a bit.
"But now they are back up to speed. What looked to be the better car is now showing it in the results.
"At the beginning of the year, Mercedes outraced them. That is not the case now.
"It's been the opposite in the last couple of races. Mercedes are trying too hard, and they've stumbled a bit."
Source: Read Full Article