Hamilton: "Privilege to be wanted to stay" amidst Mercedes contract talks


Ahead of his shakedown at Silverstone in the new W11, Mercedes' 2020 challenger, reigning champion Lewis Hamilton said it is "a real privilege to be wanted to stay" as his contract talks beyond 2020 have started recently.

Hamilton's deal at the Silver Arrows expires at the end of this calendar year but the six-time champion has shown no indications of wanting to leave Mercedes, the team at which he's won five of his six titles.

The Brit's last deal, which he penned in 2018 as his contract expired at the end of that year, wasn't completed until July that year as both parties did not want to rush negotiations.

Team principal Toto Wolff will lead the negotiations with Hamilton on behalf of Mercedes, but the Austrian admitted he doesn't like doing it as he is close to Hamilton.

"The dynamic is very good, we've known each other for such a long time, [we] have the greatest respect for each other," Wolff told Sky Sports F1.

"These discussions, we don't like them because we are friends and very close to each other on this journey but it's part of the job."

Hamilton was quizzed about the talks as well and his dynamic with Wolff, and the 35-year-old admitted he likes how keen the team are on resigning him as it is a sign of recognition of his talents.

"He's an incredible businessman, so I learned a lot from this man, and it's always an exciting moment," Hamilton added.

"It's a real privilege firstly to be wanted to stay and be part of a great team, that's a great feeling. I hope that I can continue to help to the team's success."