Four-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton is demanding $60 Million per year for his new Mercedes Formula 1 contract after Toto Wolff tried to “lure” Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen into signing for the Silver Arrows, according to Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko.
Lewis Hamilton, who has claimed three world titles in the last four years for Mercedes, runs out of contract at the end of the 2018 Formula 1 season, and is currently in the process of negotiations with the Brackley outfit to extend his stay.
During the 2017 Formula 1 season, when Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen were on the F1 driver market, Toto Wolff made an attempt to “lure” the two high profile drivers in signing for Mercedes, for what would have been a replacement driver for Bottas this year.
Sources close to F1 Hub suggest the negotiations didn’t last for long, and subsequently Mercedes elected to sign Valtteri Bottas on another one-year contract, with rumors in the paddock now suggesting Daniel Ricciardo is in prime position to replace Bottas for the 2019 season.
However, as a result of Wolff’s “mistake” during mid-2017, Hamilton is seeking an even higher value Formula 1 contract – which could cost Mercedes a significant amount of money.
“This was Toto’s mistake,” Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko said, speaking to Sport Bild about Hamilton’s negotiations with the Mercedes Formula 1 team.
“He made an attempt to lure Sebastian Vettel and then Max Verstappen but both rejected the offer. This prompted Lewis to raise his price,” said Marko.
Speaking about the amount of money Hamilton is demanding, Marko said: “We would never pay such money
“That’s why we created a junior team. We gave a chance to Vettel, Riccardo, Verstappen instead of paying huge sums to Hamilton or Alonso. The contracts with our drivers are only 20 pages,” he added.