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Lauda says Hamilton new deal reports ‘nonsense’

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Niki Lauda has rubbished reports Lewis Hamilton has been offered the most lucrative contract in F1 to keep him at Mercedes beyond 2015.

Italy’s respected La Gazzetta dello Sport last week claimed the German team “has prepared a three-year renewal (for Hamilton) for a fixed EUR 20 million per season”, including big bonuses for wins and titles.

But a newly-bespectacled Hamilton told Britain’s Sky that he has not yet discussed a contract extension with the Brackley outfit.

“We’re relaxed,” said the 30-year-old. “The team have acknowledged they want to continue with me and vice versa, so there is no stress.

“I’m comfortable and confident and trust they’re not speaking to anyone else, and they know that’s the case with me,” Hamilton added.

Lauda, Mercedes’ team chairman, also dismissed the Gazzetta report and subsequent speculation, describing it as “all nonsense”.

“We had always agreed with him that we will only talk when he (Hamilton) comes back from Colorado, around the first test in early February in Jerez,” Lauda told the Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung.

“To date, neither Toto Wolff nor myself, or anyone else from Mercedes, has talked with Lewis about (contractual details of) money and length,” he insisted.

“He also still has a contract until the end of the season,” Lauda added. (GMM)

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