LEWIS, SIGN THE CONTRACT! Niki Lauda says Lewis Hamilton's contract must be finalised by the 2015 Spanish GP. Image: Shutterstock
GENEVA, Switzerland - Yet another deadline is now looming over the finalisation of Lewis Hamilton's 2016 contract - Barcelona.
Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda is quoted by the Swiss newspaper Blick: "Everything will be fixed by the Spanish Grand Prix on May 10."
Hamilton's new deal has been delayed and discussed publicly for so long that many have linked him with a move to Ferrari. Also rumoured is that Hamilton wants clear No. 1 status and that Mercedes is not agreeing to his wage demands.
PERFORMS BEST UNDER PRESSURE
Lauda insisted: "The salary is not the problem."
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, Hamilton and team mate Nico Rosberg have all denied the 'number 1' speculation.
Bernie Ecclestone had even said ahead of last weekend's Bahrain race that Hamilton would make a good team mate for Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in 2016.
Ecclestone said: "That's a little difficult when he has extended at Mercedes, don't you think?"
The fact remains that Mercedes has not announced a deal.
Ferrari chief Maurizio Arrivabene appears to be enjoying the Hamilton rumours, as he says every driver wants a red cockpit, while Kimi Raikkonen performs best when under pressure.
It might be argued that Vettel would prefer his friend Raikkonen to stay.
Asked if he has a say in whether it will be Raikkonen or Hamilton at Ferrari next year, Vettel is quoted by f1-insider.com: "That's not true."
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