Hamilton: No unreasonable demands in Merc contract talks

Hamilton split from his management company last season and, after winning the world championship, re-entered contract negotiations to extend his stay beyond the current season. Reports suggest Hamilton is on the verge of a bumper deal which would make him the highest-paid driver in the sport.

But the Brit says he has not used his status as reigning world champion to dictate terms to Mercedes.

“Naturally, I guess the target for every driver is to work towards being the benchmark,” Hamilton told the Telegraph. “I don’t talk about status. You want to progress, as everyone wants to in life. You obviously want to feel your worth. We are not in a discussion where I’m saying, ‘I’ve won the championship, now I want this’. You can ask [team boss] Toto [Wolff]. It’s a progression as the team progresses.”

Hamilton admits personally negotiating the deal has been a challenging experience but one he feels stronger for.

“Have I enjoyed it? I’m not too sure I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been an experience. I’m glad I’ve done it. If I’d gone through my whole career and not done something like this then I would have always been wondering if I could or not. But it’s been a very nerve-racking experience.”