Lewis Hamilton expects the ink to be drying on his long-awaited Mercedes contract when the teams arrive for the Monaco Grand Prix in two weeks’ time and denied claims the deal was being held up by his wage demands.
The reigning Formula One world champion has been locked in negotiations with the team since the turn of the year, with suggestions he could instead move to Ferrari now looking wide of the mark.
Hamilton, 30, has played a major role in the talks himself and said ahead of Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix that he was now well versed in legal terms having taken a fine-tooth comb to the offer on the table.
He may have had to settle for second place in Barcelona as team-mate Nico Rosberg picked up his first win of the 2015 season but Hamilton is still 20 points clear at the top of the standings as he looks for a third drivers’ crown.
And now all the talk of his prolonged contract discussions look set to come to an end in the coming days as, when asked if the deal was any closer, Hamilton replied: “You’ll see it in Monaco – I will have some news for you in Monaco.”
One report from Barcelona suggested Hamilton and Mercedes had reached a deadlock in their negotiations but the former McLaren man, who has always maintained there has been no underlying reason for the lengthy discussions, rejected those claims.
“That is not the case,” he said when asked if talks had stalled.
“It is utter bulls***, basically. All stories that have come out about money are generally bulls***.”
Hamilton heads to Monaco looking to win in the principality for the first time since his title-winning season of 2008.
Last year it was the scene of a talking point which led to his relationship with Rosberg deteriorating as they duelled for the title.
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg had a strained relationship last year.
With Hamilton looking to oust the German from provisional pole position, Rosberg ran wide into turn five and reversed out of the run-off area – bringing out the yellow flags and forcing his team-mate to slow.
Despite the ill-feeling at the time, Hamilton will only be setting out to end his seven-year wait for a second victory in Monaco.
“I don’t look at it as unfinished business – the last two years I have had the car to win there,” he added.
“The first year I struggled with it, last year I had the pace but other things were up against me and this year hopefully will be different – third time lucky.
“This year I will have the choice to go ahead of him so I will make sure I do that. For me I’m not worried about last year, I’m just going there to win. I haven’t won there in a long time so I’m going to work hard to get the balance right.”