Hamilton’s contract delay is a matter of ‘cleaning up trivia’ – Wolff

Next: Mercedes gives an update on Hamilton’s next contract and what he will do when he steps out of the cockpit, with Helio Castroneves doing the same.

In brief

Only “trivial things” prevent Hamilton from signing a contract with Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton is technically a free agent at the end of the 2023 Formula 1 season, but Mercedes are confident he will soon sign a contract that will keep him with them for at least the next two seasons.

However, questions have been raised as to why his next contract has yet to be signed and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff recently responded.

“We are not talking about an ambassador after his retirement, nor is he part of the contract negotiations,” he said. “I think he has many years to go as a driver in this team and therefore it is only to clear things up in the contract.

“I know it seems a bit ‘why isn’t this done and dusted’, but it’s just minor things that just need to be cleaned up in the contracts and we need to find the time.

“He’s been a Mercedes driver since the beginning, when he was, god knows, eight or ten years old. He had the AMG crown, and then all these years through McLaren to the Mercedes family and then these ten or 11 years to the Mercedes works team.

“I think he is synonymous with Mercedes, which is synonymous with his career. We’ve been through so many ups and downs, so many situations that were difficult from a human side, from a professional side, and so many other extremely positive moments and I think it just made us stay together, trust each other, and be able to have tough love and the weird argument. I think there’s such a strong bond that makes him so loyal to us as well.”

Castroneves is open to doing more, not less racing by moving to part-time IndyCar

Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves will return as a part-time IndyCar driver next year after two full seasons with Meyer Shank Racing, but the 48-year-old denies that means he is headed for retirement.

He has bought MSR and committed to racing for the team in the 2024 Indy 500, having won the race with them in 2021, as well as assisting Tom Blomqvist who will become MSR’s new full-time driver.

MSR is confident that Castroneves will remain in the cockpit for several years beyond this, possibly in their sports car racing endeavors.

“I want to be very clear: I’m not retiring, okay?” Castroneves said. “I just want to make sure people understand that. Actually, my [schedule] it is open now for other series. I can do Superstar Racing Experience, IMSA, NASCAR, stock cars in Brazil, whatever [opportunity].

“Obviously, the main focus is IndyCar in my role [with] different hats and also [the Indy 500]. I still have a lot of fire in me, a lot of energy that I want to burn. A great thing is the experience that I [bring] and built all these years.”

FIA to get involved in land speed record attempt

The FIA, the world governing body for car-based motorsport, announced it is teaming up with motorcycling counterpart the FIM this week in a bid to break a land speed record.

Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt lake, will be used to form a 24km course and it is hoped that this week’s runs will rival the famous Bonneville Salt Flats in the US.

Jim Knapp will drive a 3,500bhp car which he hopes will exceed 737,794km/h, which is the FIA-recognised top speed record achieved by a wheeled car (as opposed to jet records). . Higher speeds have been achieved, with the world record 776,744 km/h achieved at Bonneville in 2019, with a top speed of 810,034 km/h on the one-mile exit of a one-way track.

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