26 Nov 2014

Hamilton set to stay at Mercedes

1:42 pm on 26 November 2014

The British motor racing driver Lewis Hamilton says a contract extension with Mercedes is almost a done deal now that he has got his second Formula One championship under his belt.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton Photo: PHOTOSPORT

After the season-ending Abu Dhabi grand prix, Hamilton says they haven't discussed the nuances but it really is pretty much a formality.

Hamilton is currently two years into a three-year deal and he and the team had deferred renewal talks until after the championship was over to avoid needless distraction.

German team-mate Nico Rosberg, the rival he beat to the title at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina circuit, agreed a new deal earlier this year. Hamilton's signature would keep the duel between them going well beyond 2016.

Some media reports have already talked of Hamilton landing a possible five year deal, worth a potential $200 million, to become one of Britain's highest-paid athletes.

The combined earnings of the driver and his popstar girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger have also drawn comparisons with David and Victoria Beckham, even if Hamilton indicated he had no immediate marriage plans.

Hamilton recognised that driving fast, rather than speedy contract negotiations, was what he did best and so nothing was decided on how talks would proceed but he did not expect them to be difficult.