World Champion Lewis Hamilton says he expects to complete a new deal with Mercedes in the coming weeks off the back of sealing the 2020 Formula 1 title.
Hamilton clinched a record-equalling seventh world title by scoring victory, the 94th of his career, at Sunday’s rain-hit Turkish Grand Prix.
The Briton’s achievement came one round after Mercedes wrapped up this year’s Constructors’ Championship.
Hamilton, who joined Mercedes in 2013, is out of contract at the end of the year but expects discussions to ramp up shortly in the wake of his title success.
“Definitely it’s something that we do need to get onto,” he said.
“And you know, I think, I just always think, through the year just that I’ve got a job to do, I’ve got a contract in place, I don’t feel like I should add pressure.
“It has to be organic and not something that’s forced. So, I thought let’s put it to… I bet on myself.
“Naturally there are days when you think ‘what happens if you start making mistakes? What happens if you get worse all of a sudden, you don’t put in these great performances? Does your value decrease? Does your bargaining power decrease? Does your reputation go off a cliff?
“I know there’s scenarios in life where you’re like ‘let’s sign up real quick’, so you guarantee your future, and for me, I’ve bet on myself. I do the work. I know myself better than anyone and I know what I can do, and I know how to do it. Better than ever.
“And so, yeah, I wanted to put it aside and wait until the job is done. So, probably over these next weeks – we’ve got three weeks in the Middle East – so, now it’s a bit more chilled but I still have three races ahead of me that I want to win. It’s not done but we will get it done, I’m sure.”
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff added that the manufacturer was relaxed over the situation.
“His driving was impeccable,” said Wolff. “There was not one foot he put wrong whilst everybody else did with a car that was interacting with the tyres, for sure not the best car. I see us going for a while.”
When asked for a timeframe on an outcome Wolff said: “I think more than likely we are looking towards the end of the year.
“I don’t want to put ourselves under pressure to say before Bahrain or before Abu Dhabi that we will announce a new contract because there isn’t any pressure. When it’s done, it’s done.”