KING OF BLING OR PRINCELY PONCE? Recognise him? Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton blings it up for the media during an appearance at the Monaco street circuit ahead of the 2015 Formula 1 GP. Image: AFP / Jean Christophe Magnenet
MONTE CARLO, Monaco - Lewis Hamilton deserves what he will earn under the terms of his new three-year Mercedes contract, though nobody actually knows how much he will be paid.
"Respected" media sources, if they are to be believed and were not just sucking thumbs, say the now 30-year-old will earn "at least" US$100-million - the equivalent of about R1.2-billion or a staggering R1.1-million A DAY - over those three years.
It was perhaps not clear if that was his Mercedes pay packet or included endorsement and other "status" income.
'OTHERS DESERVE THE SAME'
That he deserves it all was the opinion of Niki Lauda, an ex-F1 driver closely involved in the long negotiations that concluded on Wednesday (May 20 2015) with news of a three-year deal.
McLaren F1 driver Jenson Button described the figures doing the rounds as "amazing" but F1 legend Lauda told Auto Motor and Sport magazine: "Champions such as Vettel, Alonso and Lewis all deserve roughly the same."
Lauda said the deal took so long to finalise because Hamilton handled the talks himself. "The main contract was not the problem. More difficult were the details about PR appearances, sponsors' events, whether he can keep his car at the end of the year."
GOLD WATCH AND GEL
Hamilton on Wednesday insisted he did not celebrate with "Champagne" but the New York Post says the Briton has been looking at a US$30-million (about R350-million) penthouse in Lower Manhattan.
As the speculation bubbled, the man himself arrived in Monaco wearing a gold watch and sunglasses, hair gelled, in a blingy jacket.
"I'm not going to go out screaming and yelling like I just got a jump shot from the halfway line," Hamilton said. "I've got no fear about justifying the new deal."
The Briton updates his 1,2-million Instagram followers with pictures of his travels and also gallivanting around Monaco, where he resides:
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