Lewis to sign a £27 million deal with Mercedes




The double world champion, Lewis Hamilton, is set to sign a deal of more than $40 million or £27 million a year with Mercedes by the end of this week. Hamilton has been negotiating with the team himself and said that the talks have completed and deal is being finalised by the lawyers. “Honestly, its 99.6% done. There is no negotiating left, just legal stuff”.

Lewis Hamilton to sign a £27 million deal with Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton to sign a £27 million deal with Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton, who won his first driver championship in his second racing season as the then- youngest, joined Mercedes in 2013 after being at McLaren for six years joining them in 2007. He won his second driver’s championship title in 2014 with Mercedes for which he was named the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Lewis has most race wins than any other British driver in Formula One history and is the 5th best ever with 34 wins.

Currently, the deal between the Brit driver and the German manufacturer includes a basic salary of over $30 million annually plus extensive bonuses which depend on the number of wins and podium finishes he manages including the driver’s championship. This deal is on similar lines which makes him one of the best paid drivers on the grid matching the money being paid byFerrari to Fernando Alonso who gets £25.5 million. Kimi Raikkonen is paid £18 million while Nico Rosberg gets £10 million annually by Ferrari and Mercedes respectively.

Other teams like Red Bull and Force India cannot afford to cough up that kind of money for their drivers but still pay them handsomely. William’s highest paid driver is Felipe Massa who gets £3 million annually while Red Bull pays £2.5 million to Daniel Riccardo. Force India pays Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez £2.75 million and £2.2 million respectively.

However, Sebastian Vettel remains the highest paid driver with an annual compensation of about $80million who joined the Italian giant this season leaving Red Bull after a dismal season last year. In terms of comparison with football, Cristiano Rolando was the highest paid athlete last year at $52 million ($84 million with endorsements) and Lionel Messi at $42 million ($64 million with endorsements). The major difference that lies with the Formula One driver’s contract with others is the lack of flexibility for the drivers for individual endorsement.

Many think Formula One is easy money and to an extent it is true however, one must remember that it is an extreme sport and there is a danger of a fatal high speed crash every time the driver goes out in a F1 car. It is also not easy to drive constantly at high speeds over a 200 mile 2 hours race, leave alone the pressure of qualifying and free practice sessions. A driver has to not only be physically but mentally at their prime before each race.

Speaking to Sky News, Lewis had hinted that the deal could be done before the Malaysian Grand Prix. The delay now has triggered a series of speculations that Hamilton may think about a move to other teams next season including Ferrari as a replacement for Kimi Raikkonen. Lewis Hamiltion was however quick to discard these rumours saying, “No, don’t be silly” indicating that he will be racing for Mercedes in the coming few season.

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Anjan K Merkap

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