Hamilton: F1 driver salary cap 'has nothing to do' with contract delay

By Daniel Lewis 31 October 2020 208
Hamilton: F1 driver salary cap 'has nothing to do' with contract delay

Lewis Hamilton is "surprised" by Formula One's plans to introduce a driver salary cap but says it has no bearing on whether he will sign a new contract with Mercedes.

The plan, which will reportedly see a $30million (£23.2m) cap introduced from 2023, was backed by all 10 team bosses at a video conference on Monday.

That figure is expected to be split across a team's two drivers, potentially posing a problem for Hamilton, who is thought to earn signficantly more than €30m per year.

He is out of contract at the end of the 2020 season and reiterated this week that talks over fresh terms can wait until he completes the formalities of wrapping up a seventh world title.

However, asked if that delay is down to the proposed new regulations, Hamilton responded: "It has nothing to do with that.

"I didn't even know that was being discussed. I think from a driver's point of view it's a surprise to us.

"We've obviously heard of the idea a while ago - I think it was last year in France maybe, but it was the first we have heard of it this week.

"I think it's important that the GPDA [Grand Prix Drivers' Association] work closely with F1 when we get into discussions moving forwards."

Hamilton made history last weekend with his commanding win at the Portuguese Grand Prix, as he broke Michael Schumacher's record of 91 Grand Prix victories.

While many were quick to congratulate the Briton on surpassing a record plenty expected to stand the test of time, McLaren's Lando Norris seemed to downplay the achievement.

Norris, who is seventh in the drivers' standings, said: "It doesn't mean anything to me, really. He's in a car which should win every race, basically."

However, speaking at the drivers' news conference ahead of this weekend's Emilia Romagna GP, Norris revealed he has since apologised to Hamilton for his comments.

"I apologised [on Twitter] but I also apologised to Lewis himself. I messaged him," he said.

"I don't know if he knew about it at the time, but I never meant to say something like that in a bad way or put any bad light on him at all.

"I respect everything he's done to achieve what he's done."

Norris added: "It was all done off my own back. No one pressured me.

"I woke up in the morning, I looked on social media, and there was a lot more bad comments than good about the things I said."

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