DOT THE i'S AND CROSS THE t'S : Mercedes ace Lewis Hamilton is likely to tie up contract negotiations with his team at the2015 Monaco GP over May 22-24. Image: AP / Andre Penner
LONDON, England - Double F1 champion Lewis Hamilton's long-haggled new deal with Mercedes could be announced at the showcase race of every Formula 1 season - Monaco (May 22-24).
He's dismissed reports that the protracted negotiations had deadlocked and indicated "everything's on track, announcement imminent".
POTENTIAL R480M CONTRACT
He told reporters after Sunday's (May 10) Spanish F1 GP: "You'll see it in Monaco - I will have some news for you in Monaco."
News media had indicated that the 30-year-old, 20 points ahead of team mate Nico Rosberg in the championship after five races, could be paid the equivalent of about R480-million a year under the new contract.
Hamilton will be out-of-contract at the end of the 2015 season and the saga of his negotiation has kept the media busy since 2014 when the talks were put on hold for him to concentrate on the title battle.
He told reporters before the Malaysian GP in March that it was 99.6% done - "just some legal stuff' remaining".
TOP 3 BEST-PAID DRIVERS
The BBC reported in March 2015 that Hamilton, who has conducted his own negotiations with Mercedes, would earn about the same basic salary as in his first contract with the team he joined in 2013.
Other sources indicated the terms would be more lucrative, to reflect his success and status.
Hamilton, who won the first of his two titles with McLaren in 2008, is already one of the three best-paid drivers in the sport with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and McLaren's Fernando Alonso reckoned to earn at least as much.
The champion finished second in Spain, beaten for the first time in 2015 by Rosberg.