Formula 1's new chief executive Stefano Domenicali has said he wants to see Sir Lewis Hamilton line up on the grid for next year as the world champion’s contract talks with Mercedes continue to drag on, though hinted that the salary wasn't the sticking point.
With under two months to go until the beginning of the 2021 season, Hamilton and Mercedes have yet to come to terms on a new deal, but Domenicali rejected the notion that this is a question of money or salary and said it was instead about the driver’s long term future in the sport.
“I think they're talking about a lot of stuff, I'm sure that Lewis wants to understand a lot of points [about] his future. I want to see him still very, very involved in Formula 1,” Domenicali told select members of the press, including RacingNews365.com.
“It is his life, it will be maybe his life in the future or he may be interested in other things, because we can see that he has a lot of interests and is so good at being involved but without losing the focus on the championship.
“Therefore, I think that they are discussing a lot of points. And I don't think that is only a point related to his salary. I think it's really more related to what they have in mind to share together in the future. I think that's the reason why, but maybe they are not in a rush, because maybe they have already decided it is okay, so we never know.
“But for me, it would be really good to see, as soon as we have the announcement, Lewis with the energy that he has been always given to Formula 1. And I'm sure that will be [the case].”
Domenicali also touched on Hamilton’s other work outside F1 and how his activities elsewhere had made him an important ambassador for the sport.
“I think that Lewis, for sure, is a massive ambassador of Formula 1," Domenicali continued. "I'm talking about Formula 1, but it can be seen also as an ambassador of our values, or the points that are really relevant.
"But I would say Lewis is really very important for one because he's the one that is embracing other values into the discussion and giving his face for a lot of points that were [not part of] the normal sport.”