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Lewis Hamilton puts £40million contract talks with Mercedes out of respect for COVID-19 hardships

Lewis Hamilton claimed he has put his contract negotiations on hold out of respect for the hardships brought about by COVID-19.

The world champion, Britain’s richest sportsman with a £230million fortune, is out of contract with Mercedes at the end of the season and was seeking to negotiate an extension worth £40m a year.

But, speaking ahead of this weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone, Hamilton said: ‘It doesn’t feel like the right time to sit down and talk about it.

‘When you think about so many people in the world who have lost their jobs, to sit down and negotiate a big contract isn’t the most important thing I need to apply time to at this second.’ 

The 35-year-old, who leads the championship by 30 points after just four rounds, added: ‘I am not talking to anyone else and I am looking forward to continuing with Mercedes, particularly as we have just started a new chapter in terms of how we are going to be more diverse and more inclusive. 

‘I am super excited about this team moving forward.’ 

It was confirmed on Thursday that Valtteri Bottas, 30, has signed a new deal to keep him at Mercedes next season.

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