The Malaysian grand prix weekend started and ended without Lewis Hamilton’s new Mercedes contract being announced.
The reigning world champion entered the Sepang weekend hinting that a deal is now close, after long and repeatedly protracted negotiations.
A Spanish newspaper even claimed Hamilton’s signature is now on the page.
But as the chequered flag waved on Sunday, team boss Toto Wolff told the German broadcaster Sky that Mercedes will now fly out of Malaysia without any contract news being unveiled.
“It will probably take a few more days,” he said, “but I’m optimistic.
“We want to stay with the current world champion and he wants to stay with us,” added Wolff. “That is clear.
“Contract negotiations drag out sometimes,” he explained, “as you go into the details, but it is moving forward.” (GMM)