LEWIS HAMILTON has rubbished suggestions his new Mercedes deal has hit a snag due to F1’s proposed salary cap.
F1 bosses met last Monday where they raised the idea of limiting drivers’ wages to £23million a year.
Lewis Hamilton made history with his record-breaking 92nd win at the Portuguese Grand PrixCredit: Reuters
The motion has been waved through to the next agenda however, Hamilton, who is yet to sign his new deal – worth around £40million a year – says the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association should have their say.
Hamilton, who has a 77 point lead in the championship but cannot win the title in this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna GP, was quizzed if the delay in signing his new deal was due to the suggested salary freeze.
He said: “It has nothing to do with it. I did not know it was being discussed. From a drivers’ point of view, it was a surprise to us.
“We heard of the idea a while ago, maybe last year in France, but it is the first we heard of it this week.
“So I think it is important the GPDA work closely with Formula One to get in to discussions moving forwards.”
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff also supported his driver in quizzing whether it was right to limit drivers’ wages.
And Wolff believes that drivers should be included as part of the discussions as their wages reflect their worth to their teams.
He added: “The discussion around this topic is an emotional one.
“Formula One teams, in order to be sustainable long term and to be successful sport franchises, need to show profitability like any company. We all need to achieve that.
“On the other side, it is clear that drivers in Formula One are the best in the world and should earn high salaries like all the other top stars in sport.
“The day those salaries are limited or their income is limited to what they are getting from the team, because the scope of promoting the brand is very limited…
“So that is why it will be interesting to do a deal with the representatives of the drivers and the drivers can say how can we align ourselves that everyone is benefitting from the rules.
“US sports have done it without really harming future earnings of the drivers.”
Wolff, whose team can win the constructors’ title for a seventh successive year this weekend, also said he was happy to hold off contract talks with Hamilton, through fear of “contaminating” him with covid.
He said: “The truth is there is a lot of trust between us and we keep on saying we must find a day.
“But the championship is more important and I completely understand that Lewis wants to concentrate on that.
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Lewis Hamilton’s new deal is worth around £40million per year Credit: Splash News
“It seems that we have to get that done to find the time but I don’t want to contaminate either of the drivers with covid.
“If you spend so much time together the worst would be they could miss a race or more.”
Meanwhile, Lando Norris sent a private apology to Hamilton after initially being dismissive of the fellow Brit’s landmark 92nd win.
Last weekend when he was quizzed about Hamilton’s new win’s record, Norris said: “It doesn’t mean anything to me, really. He’s in a car which should win every race, basically”.
He later said sorry to the world champion and added: “I didn’t choose the right words to put it into context.
“I apologised [on Twitter] but I also apologised to Lewis himself, I messaged him.
“I don’t know if he knew about it at the time but I never meant to say something like that in a bad way or put any bad light on him at all.
“I respect everything he’s done to achieve what he’s done.”