September 25, 2023

Hamilton hints at contract progress as Verstappen’s criticism continues

It was media day at Silverstone and was on site to bring the biggest F1 news ahead of the British Grand Prix.

Brad Pitt arrived on the scene in Northamptonshire, but the stars of the show were in the paddock answering questions from the media, commenting on the fall of the 2024 F1 calendar and debate over track limits raging.

Then let’s take a look at the big stories from Silverstone.

Additional reporting from Thomas Maher and Sam Cooper

Lewis Hamilton confirms contract details Toto Wolff

Talks between Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are still ongoing as they try to agree his stay with the team beyond the end of the year.

When asked if Toto Wolff’s claim that he and the team were no longer discussing salary and contract length, Hamilton confirmed to media outlets including that this was correct and that the remaining negotiations were on other parts of the deal.

Hamilton has said all along that it is more than a “simple driving contract”, and he still has “100% confidence” in Mercedes that they will get back to the top of the sport.

Read more: Lewis Hamilton confirms truth of key part of negotiations with Mercedes as talks continue

24 races are too many for Max Verstappen

With the announcement of a record 24 race calendar for the 2024 season, that was a major talking point in the paddock on Thursday.

Max Verstappen has said for some time that he thinks the calendar has been over-inflated, and that remains the case as the reigning world champion voiced concerns about next year’s 10-month colossal schedule.

“It’s too many for me anyway,” he told media outlets including “We just have to deal with it.

“I think at least it makes a little bit more sense the way it’s planned, so I think that’s better for everyone.”

Read more: Max Verstappen names main concern over F1 2024 calendar

George Russell jokes about retirement threat Max Verstappen ‘just a tactic’

Verstappen has previously hinted that things like too many races on the calendar are one of the reasons why he won’t take his Formula 1 career beyond the end of his current contract with Red Bull, which expires in 2028.

But George Russell is somewhat skeptical about the reasoning behind Verstappen’s claims that he could leave the sport at a time many would consider premature…

“I think he’s whining because he wants more money!” Russell said with a smile.

“He’s the highest paid on the grid and rightly so for what he’s doing, but I think it’s all a big tactic from him, that threat of retirement.”

Read more: George Russell jokes about retirement threat Max Verstappen ‘nagging for more money’

Yuki Tsunoda talks to about his future spoke exclusively with Yuki Tsunoda in the paddock at Silverstone and the AlphaTauri driver revealed that contract talks to extend his stay with the team are progressing well.

Helmut Marko is noticeably happier with the young Japanese driver this year after stepping up his game in his third season in Formula 1, and a possible contract extension could be on the agenda as a result.

“I talked to Helmut a bit and he is happy with my performance, which is the most important thing,” said Tsunoda.

“So let’s see how the contract goes.”

Read more: Exclusive: Yuki Tsunoda reveals Helmut Marko talks as he fights for F1 future

The announcement of the Haas 2024 lineup is just around the corner

As for the driver line-up, there was no team as focused on them last time in the ‘silly season’ as Haas – with Mick Schumacher fighting to the last to keep his seat.

This ultimately ended in vain as Nico Hülkenberg was given the drive for 2023, but with Guenther Steiner impressed this time with his experienced line-up, he is looking to avoid a repeat of last year’s protracted drama.

“I hope we can make the decision before the summer break,” Steiner told media outlets including at Silverstone.

“You know, of course we have to do it and we will get our drivers confirmed as soon as possible.

“I mean, like I said before, I mean, it’s nothing new to you. I am now quite happy with our driver line-up.”

Read more: Guenther Steiner hints at impending Haas 2024 line-up announcement

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