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2017 F1

Hamilton eyes new three-year deal

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Lewis Hamilton could be set to extend his stay at Mercedes beyond 2018. The triple world champion’s current deal runs out late next year, and he has been hinting that retirement or a move to Ferrari could be on the cards.

But now, Sport Bild reports that Hamilton, 32, has told Mercedes team management that he is open to talks about a new three-year contract.

Triple-time world champion starting from pole in the 200th GP of his career, the Briton snatched the 25 Championship points from rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.

Mercedes’ non-executive chairman Niki Lauda letting slip that he spoke to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel about bringing him in as a replacement for the Briton.

Lauda’s frank admission that Mercedes had courted Vettel prompted team principal Toto Wolff to contradict his fellow Austrian, an apparent cover-up job that reeked of desperation.

Lauda had said: ‘We discussed it briefly with him (Vettel) but the more competitive Ferrari got the less reason he had to leave. So, therefore, we stopped right away a couple of months ago.

‘I think every driver, if he’s clever, talks to more than one team. Then when you negotiate you’re in a better position. That’s what he did.’

But Wolff, who attended Vettel’s 30th birthday party as recently as July, then said: ‘I think it is a bit of miscommunication.

‘We never once had negotiations with Vettel. Zero. I think what Niki was referring to was they crossed each other in the paddock and he asked Seb what he is doing next year.’ Pull the other one, Toto!

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