Hamilton: Mercedes deal never in doubt

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton says his new Mercedes deal took so long to finalise simply because he was so certain it would happen eventually.

The world champion had hoped to thrash out his new contract over the winter, but discussions dragged on before a new three-year deal was announced in Monaco on Wednesday.

Although the delays prompted talk that he could be lured away, perhaps to Ferrari, Hamilton made it clear that a lack of interest by the team or himself to consider other options meant there was no rush.

"I said to Mercedes from the get-go, I wasn't planning to speak to anyone and I believe they did the same," he said.

"What took long is that we started conversations in February, and I took my time. Some weeks I thought about it.

"I had this year still contracted, so it wasn't a case of standing there every day. I would go away come back to it, go away and come back to it. I took my time."

Handling talks himself

He even joked that he welcomed the fact that he did not have to pay a management fee, which saved his some commission.

"It's the first time I did it," he said, in reference to handling talks himself. "There is a lot of learn, and a lot of studying to do. I earned my 10 per cent so I feel great."

Never a doubt

Hamilton said that there was never any doubt in his head that he would remain at Mercedes, despite the speculation linking him with Ferrari.

"There was never any doubt honestly," he said. "I was always led to believe the team would continue with me, with the success we had and the relationship we had. It felt certain, which is why I didn't feel I had to sign on the dotted line now.

"I wasn't being challenged elsewhere or by other drivers, which was a good thing."


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