Former Formula 1 team owner turned television pundit, Eddie Jordan, reckons Mercedes must take a tough stance in negotiations with their star driver, Lewis Hamilton, amid rumours the seven-time World Champion is making unreasonable salary demands.
Hamilton and Mercedes have yet to agree a new contract despite the new season starting in just two months time. Unconfirmed rumours suggest the sticking point is Hamilton’s salary, with the sport’s most successful driver looking for a bumper contract which could to be his last before retirement.
There remains no official explanation for the delay in signing a new deal.
Jordan, who has a penchant for predicting big moves in F1 – he predicted Hamilton’s move to Mercedes and INEOS’ greater involvement in the team – explained to F1 Insider how he comes by his insider knowledge.
“I have excellent sources that I can rely on one hundred per cent and I have common sense. I’m still extremely well connected in the scene, and I talk to Bernie Ecclestone on the phone regularly.”
Sharing his opinion on the hold-up, Jordan said Hamilton should be reminded that “everybody is replaceable” and he must learn to accept the terms that are on offer.
“Apparently the parties disagree on the terms. I just heard that Lewis wants more than Mercedes is willing to pay. It’s also about sharing the team’s income and having an influential role in the Mercedes group.
“If I were the boss of Daimler, I would show him the door: Either you drive on our terms or you go.
“I would also tell him what Bernie Ecclestone said after Ayrton Senna’s death. Even if Bernie was shocked and sad like everyone else, he was the first to regain his composure and said to us: ‘Now stop whining: Everybody is replaceable.’ Lewis should know that by now.”
Jordan also questioned why Aston Martin signed Sebastian Vettel over Sergio Perez for ’21, claiming the four-time champions performances have been “pathetic”.
“I like him [Vettel] a lot, but I think Aston Martin made a mistake in signing him. The last two years against [Charles] Leclerc at Ferrari have been pathetic. I don’t know why he looked so bad, he won four world titles. But I think he’s past his peak. In any case, I would have kept Perez.”