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Does Tommy Hilfiger deal mean Hamilton has re-upped at Mercedes?

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1
© XPB 

Mercedes announced yesterday that it had signed a multi-year partnership with designer apparel company Tommy Hilfiger.

Now it's emerged that the team's star driver, four-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, was a prime mover in pulling the deal together.

"Lewis made contact [with Tommy Hilfiger] last summer," Mercedes boss Toto Wolff confirmed on Tuesday. "It's a brand he likes. We then managed to put the partnership together."

Hamilton's interest in fashion and music is well-known. It's therefore not surprising he would be keen to bring together the two parties.

Even more apparent is the commercial opportunity that Tommy Hilfiger sees in having a globally recognised sporting star such as Hamilton as one of the faces of its brand.

Hamilton's international appeal is tailor-made for the Tommy Hilfiger demographic. It makes the tie-up one of the more obvious matches of recent times.

But if that's the case, it's unlikely that Tommy Hilfiger would have inked a multi-million dollar deal with Mercedes unless it was absolutely sure that Hamilton was also definitely on board.

The Hilfiger partnership could therefore be a strong sign that Hamilton has already effectively re-signed to stay at Mercedes for several more years.

His current contract expires at the end of 2018. But Hamilton has repeatedly made it clear that he's not looking to move to any other team.

And Wolff has again expressed confidence that the deal will be done, sooner rather than later.

"We are working on a few missing details, as we want to do it well," Wolff told Sky Italia this week.

"It also depends on how many years we want to extend it for," he added. "But I hope to close the contract before Australia."

The 2018 season opener is now just two and a half weeks away. It means that time is running out for a big announcement if it's to happen before Melbourne.

However there will be no early decision on whether or not to give a new contract to Hamilton's current team mate Valtteri Bottas.

Wolff has said that the team will see how the Finn fares in the opening races of 2018 before making any decision about whether to keep him at Brackley for a third season.

Daniel Ricciardo has been linked with a move from Red Bull to Mercedes in 2019. The Australian is also out of contract at the end of the season. He says that he plans to start extension talks with his current team in April.

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