Six-time Formulation One champion Lewis Hamilton stated on Thursday he felt uncomfortable negotiating a profitable contract extension with Mercedes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic because the crew confirmed Valtteri Bottas was staying subsequent yr.
Hamilton is out of contract on the finish of the yr however trying positive to remain on the dominant champions, with no different out there seat as aggressive.
“In the end, truthfully, it simply doesn’t really feel like the appropriate time,” the Briton advised reporters on the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
“When you consider so many individuals on the earth which have misplaced their jobs, individuals which are unemployed, then to sit down and negotiate an enormous contract — it simply doesn’t appear to be a very powerful factor that I want to use time to proper this second.”
Bottas’s extension was anticipated, with champions Mercedes having made clear they supposed to retain the 30-year-old Finn for a fifth successive season.
“I’m assured that now we have the strongest driver pairing in F1 at the moment and signing Valtteri is a vital first step in retaining this power for the long run,” stated crew boss Toto Wolff in an announcement.
“Valtteri is a hard-working, simple man who has a great relationship with the complete crew together with his crew mate, which isn’t a given when each drivers are combating for the championship.”
Hamilton is main Bottas by 30 factors after 4 races and goes for his fourth successive victory on Sunday when Silverstone hosts a grand prix for the second weekend in a row.
Bottas, general runner-up in 2019, gained final month’s delayed season-opener in Austria. The Finn has gained eight races with Mercedes since becoming a member of from Williams in 2017.
“The previous few years have been all about steady enchancment, engaged on each facet of my efficiency. I’m assured that at the moment I’m the strongest I’ve ever been, however I can all the time elevate the bar,” he stated.
“I’m within the struggle for the title this yr and staying with Mercedes places me in the absolute best place to compete for it subsequent season as nicely.”