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Hamilton all set for staggering new Mercedes contract

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Lewis Hamilton's new contract with Mercedes still has a few t's to cross and i's to dot, but there's no doubting the outcome of the talks between the two parties, or the lucrative value of the driver's new deal.

Hamilton's current contract with the Silver Arrows squad expires at the end of this year, and the word in the paddock is that the new deal is potentially worth a mammoth £120m!

The four-time world champion and mega star is expected to commit to a two-year tenure with Mercedes, with an option for a third season.

Overall, that equates to a £40m a year retainer for the man who starts the 2018 season as the outright favourite for the world title.

Questioned at the end of last year on the status of Mercedes' negotiations with its star driver, team boss Toto Wolff said a new deal was likely just around the corner.

Former F1 driver David Coulthard offers some insight on the reasons why talks are apparently still ongoing - albeit in their final stages - three months later.

"The delay is unusual in as much as normally when two parties want to work together, they get the paperwork done and put to one side," Coulthard told The Sun.

"The off-season is the best time to do that because in season you are busy trying to set up the car and deal with sponsors and partners, so that is just another thing to look at for the schedule.

"Lewis has the confidence to know that they both want it and as ever the main details of the contract delay will be two things.

©Mercedes

"How much more freedom he has in his new contract and how many days he has to work when he’s not at the racetrack.

"And the second thing is the payment because all the other terms and conditions -respecting Mercedes and not saying anything negative things about the partners - all of that is largely the same as we have had for 20 or 30 years."

Wolff reiterated his belief that a positive conclusion to the talks was likely imminent.

"It's a matter of days, maybe weeks," the Mercedes said.

"It's about the details that we want to formulate correctly. It may be Lewis' penultimate or last contract, so it's about the running time. But I'm very optimistic that it will happen."

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