Nico Rosberg has joined the rest of the F1 world in tracking the saga of world champion Lewis Hamilton’s contract negotiations.
“I am keeping up to date,” the Mercedes driver told Germany’s Die Welt newspaper, “as we are talking about who will be in the garage next to me next year.”
Hardly anyone doubts that Hamilton, 30, wants to stay at F1’s most competitive team beyond 2015, while Mercedes has made clear it is also not on the market to change.
But the negotiations, conducted by the British driver himself without the aid of a traditional manager, have been repeatedly delayed and protracted.
Hamilton told reporters in Shanghai that rumours of disagreements between him and Mercedes management over the terms of the new deal are not true.
“I can assure you that is not the case,” he said.
“Naturally, there are things they want, and things I want, and we have not come to a conclusion yet. But I have absolutely no doubt that we will in the end.”
Jenson Button, the most experienced driver in pitlane, has warned his former McLaren teammate that the delay could ultimately backfire on Hamilton.
“It is a little tricky for a driver when a team are that competitive because he is obviously asking for something above what he was on before,” he said.
“And the team will say they don’t need to pay him that because if he was not there, they could say the other guy in the team would win the races he won.”
Button also said Hamilton should obviously stay at Mercedes for other reasons.
“Mercedes are not always going to be winning,” he said, “but you’d stay where he is right now. He has his comfort there, and I think Lewis needs that.” (GMM)