Lewis Hamilton is the wealthiest driver in the history of Formula One, off the back of being the most successful driver in the sport’s history with a record seven World Drivers’ Championships.
Despite this, the Mercedes driver is out of contract at the end of the upcoming 2023 season, having signed his current reported $147m two-year deal in 2021.
His current deal keeps him as one of the wealthiest athletes in the world, ranking 17th in the Forbes’ Highest Paid Athletes list last year after raking in $93.8m across contracts and sponsorships.
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Reports from French outlet 20 Minutes suggest Hamilton’s new contract would be worth $217.8 million across two years, which is the same amount he would make under his current deal if he won the World Drivers’ Championship.
20 Minutes are also reporting that Hamilton is asking for an additional contract as a Mercedes ambassador after he retires, worth $389.6 million over 10 years.
If Hamilton puts pen to paper on these deals, he would stand to earn $680.9m over the next 13 years.
The staggering amounts are reportedly financed significantly by Jim Ratcliffe, the founder of chemical multinational Ineos, which also serves as the principal partner of Mercedes-AMG Petronas and holds a 33 per cent stake in the team.
Ratcliffe and Hamilton have been closely linked with a financial takeover of football giants Manchester United, with the former already confirming his interest in buying the Red Devils from the Glazer family.
Asked about the move after becoming a part owner of NFL franchise the Denver Broncos last year, Hamilton did not rule out entering the Ratcliffe bid.
“Jim’s part boss but partner – I’d say we’re more partners because we’re in this together and I hope in the future to do something with Jim and build with him,” Hamilton said.
“I do want to get more and more involved in teams because I really do believe in black ownership – there is a lack of it in sports – and black equity.”
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admits that the eight-time Constructors’ Champions hadn’t begun contract renegotiations with Hamilton, telling the Beyond the Grid podcast it was on his list of jobs to do, but he was confident of the Brit re-signing.
“Lewis is part of the team, and the team is part of Lewis,” he said.
“(There’s) no reason not to continue.
“We are so aligned – in the last 10 years our relationship has grown.
“It’s just a matter of him physically being back in Europe, sticking our heads together, wrestling a bit, and then leaving the room with white smoke after a few hours.”
Hamilton has spent the Formula One winter break jetting around the world, with his most recent destination being in Antarctica.
As a result he hasn’t had a chance to put pen to paper, or comment on some of the newest developments in Formula One, including the FIA’s new ban on drivers making political statements.
Hamilton is one of the most socially active members of the grid, leading the sport’s contribution to the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.
Wolff confirmed that the W14 Mercedes car for the upcoming season would be revealed publicly on February 15.