With the Briton’s contract expiring at the end of this year, it is certain that the dramatic cost-cutting measures will have a major impact on his negotiations with Mercedes, which is looking to keep him.
The team explained that they see Hamilton as a great value for its brand and Formula One sport, which is rapidly growing among the younger population in the digital age.
Hamilton is expected to begin negotiations to renew his contract for three years, after Mercedes secured its seventh title despite restrictions imposed due to the outbreak of the Corona virus.
Hamilton and Austrian team head Toto Wolf said after Sunday’s race that they intended to stay with Mercedes next year.
A salary cap was agreed upon after videoconferences during the Formula One Committee meeting Monday, and the plan is due to be confirmed by the World Motorsport Council.
Wolf said he prefers to avoid any delays in a long-term deal and opposes a one-year extension. “Covid has changed the way we do business and I think everything should be done this year.”
He continued: “I do not want to enter into any other negotiations in the middle of next year and drag them again.”
He added, “We should all focus on our work, Lewis leads, I am running the team and Uula Kallinius (Daimler president) runs the big wheel.”
11 points for coronation
With Formula 1 hustle and bustle returning to Autodromo Enzo and Dino Ferrari for the first time in 14 years and in the 100th race in Italy, Mercedes needs 11 points to confirm their record seven successive manufacturer titles.
Mercedes tops the standings with 435 points, against 226 for Red Bull Racing Honda and 126 for Racing Point, while the old Ferrari occupies a disappointing sixth place.
Hamilton, who has been crowned 8 times out of 13 races this season, won the last race in Portimao, achieving for the fourth time this season a double with his Finnish colleague Valtteri Butts, who in turn ranks second in the drivers’ standings.
Mercedes drivers average 36 points per race this season.
Hamilton is away at the top with 256 points, compared to 179 for Bottas, and 162 for Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.
Without any trials scheduled for Friday, in the first two-day race at the weekend, teams will be under additional pressure as early as Saturday.
For Wolf, this is part of the job as preparations begin for the next year and 2022 in his mind as well, “Everything we do from now on is important for the next year. To determine the pace and roots of the 2022 regulations.”
The first visit of the modern Mercedes team will be to the Imola circuit, while Wolf expects an interesting experience. “We have seen exciting races on new tracks this year, and the short weekend system will make things more interesting.”
The race will be held behind closed doors, due to the high number of Corona injuries in Italy.
The circuit had prepared to receive 13,000 spectators every day, but the latest decision angered the circuit manager Umberto Salvatico Estanzi, “This is late, four days before the event, which leaves us with little time to inform people.”
This will be the third race to be held in Italy this season, after the Grand Prix Italy and Tuscany.