Lewis Hamilton has made no secret of his desire to remain in Formula 1 beyond the 2021 season. The British driver is currently contracted to the Mercedes team only until the end of the ongoing campaign.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and Hamilton are keen to sort out the new deal at the earliest possible time after it took until February this year to sign the current deal. According to Motorsport.com, the seven-time F1 world champion is willing to take a pay cut to sign a new deal.
Mercedes and Hamilton have already begun negotiations over a new deal, which is expected to initially be until the end of the 2022 season with an option to extend into the 2023 campaign. Wolff wants to conclude talks and have his driver sign the dotted line by June 15.
While Hamilton, who is already the highest paid driver on the F1 grid, is ready to take a pay cut, he is said to have made some demands of a different nature. The former McLaren driver wants the team to double his championship winning bonus going forward.
Apart from the bonus payment, the Briton also wants Mercedes to ensure he has a role within Daimler's structure once he hangs up his helmet. Hamilton is keen to continue working to improve diversity within F1, which he has said is more important to him right now than winning titles.
Talks between Wolff and Hamilton are said to be progressing well, but there are still a few points that need to be ratified before he can put pen-to-paper. However, it is expected to be completed sooner rather than later.
Hamilton is currently chasing his eighth F1 Drivers' Championship title and is trailing Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen, who is making a strong case to win his first title. He is four points behind the Dutchman having finished seventh in Monaco and a lowly 15th at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix - the two most recent races.