Bernie Ecclestone tells Lewis Hamilton of ‘big problem’ with his contract

Lewis Hamilton previews 2023 Miami Grand Prix

Bernie Ecclestone has told Lewis Hamilton that his mega-money contract with Mercedes is a “big problem”. Hamilton has won a joint record seven F1 world titles throughout his illustrious career but looks unlikely to add to those if he stays at the Silver Arrows as his team are struggling to keep pace with Red Bull.

“I don’t know what has happened to Mercedes and how they have suddenly got in the state that they find themselves in the moment,” explained Ecclestone. “I can understand Lewis being frustrated because he has been there for all that time and done well for Mercedes and for himself. But his contract is a lot of money to walk away from and that is a big problem.

“The only place Lewis can go to to win that eighth world championship is Red Bull, but for sure there is no room there. It is impossible. There is no chance.”

Hamilton hasn’t won a Grand Prix since 2021 and has only been able to finish on the podium in one of the opening five races this season. Mercedes suffered a woeful season last time around amid a string of issues with their car – and they’ve been unable to find solutions to close the gap on Red Bull this time around.

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Hamilton is out of contract with Mercedes at the end of the year and is yet to agree new terms with his current employers. And, according to the Daily Mail, Ferrari are set to offer the 38-year-old £40million a year to race in red next season.

Scuderia chief John Elkann has already been in close contact with the Stevenage-born ace about jumping ship and is keen to pair him with current star Charles Leclerc.

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Hamilton signed his current deal with Mercedes in July 2021 and is said to earn a whopping £45m per season with the team. But if he feels the Silver Arrows will be unable to compete for silverware next time around, he may have no option other than to move on as he attempts to move beyond Michael Schumacher as the most successful F1 driver of all time.

Hamilton has previously hinted that he may retire from motorsport. But earlier this month he revealed that he has no intentions to quit any time soon. “I am focused on being better every day, and to be honest I am focused on the long term,” said the veteran.

“I am focused on being better every day, and to be honest I am focused on the long term. I am going to be here for some time, longer than one year. Still got that drive, still got that push and still want to do and I love what I do. I am going to be here for some time, longer than one year.”

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