10 Apr 2015

Hamilton in no rush to sign, Alonso staying

11:27 am on 10 April 2015

Lewis Hamilton has agreed a deal in principle to remain at Mercedes beyond this season but the Formula One world champion says he's in no hurry to put pen to paper on a new contract.

Meanwhile, The two-time world champion Fernando Alonso expects to end his Formula One career at McLaren, confirming that the team he joined from Ferrari at the end of last season was likely to be his last.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Hamilton, who is in Shanghai for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, moved to Mercedes in 2013 but is out of contract at the end of the season and negotiations to extend his stay with the German team have become protracted with the 30-year-old's future plans the subject of much discussion around the paddock.

"The situation is not really different from the last time I saw you," Hamilton said. "There's still points to be agreed on, it's just back and forth."

Following the Malaysian Grand Prix on March 29, Hamilton told British reporters that a new contract should be finalised within a week.

However, Hamilton, who is negotiating the deal himself, said he had been unable to find time to go through the finer points of a revised deal with the team where he won his second world title.

"The last week I haven't really been doing too much contract reading," Hamilton added.

"I don't really feel particularly rushed. I think we've agreed that we want to stay together. I've got the rest of the year if I want to take that but obviously we'll get it done at some stage."

The Briton, who won his first title with McLaren in 2008, is one of the three highest-paid drivers in the series with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and McLaren's Fernando Alonso estimated to be on similar salaries to Hamilton.

Some reports have pegged Hamilton's new deal at more than $53 million and when asked whether he would like to be the highest-paid Mercedes employee, earning even more than Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche, he said: "I don't really know what to say to that. Drivers generally do earn more than that."

Hamilton heads into this weekend's race at the top of the standings.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.