F1 digest: Lewis Hamilton’s future may depend on Liberty Media’s plans

British champion in no rush to sign a new contract with Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes contract F1
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is the reigning Formula 1 world champion
(Image credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Liberty Media’s plans for the future of Formula 1 won’t just have an impact for teams and manufacturers - it could also affect world champion Lewis Hamilton.

F1’s owners are today holding a “crucial meeting” in Bahrain ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix, to reveal their “blueprint for the future” after 2021.

The Times reports that Mercedes driver Hamilton is delaying signing a new contract with the team until he hears what Liberty has to say. According to the newspaper, the 33-year-old British driver is in “no rush” to extend his contract.

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Speaking to reporters at the Sakhir circuit, Hamilton said: “There could be an announcement, or there are discussions over what is happening in F1 moving forwards, so it is good to wait to hear that.

“The decision on how long you want to commit to F1 is becoming more and more important, particularly as I am at the latter end of my career. You want to have all the information.”

Budget cap planned for 2021

Liberty Media will “press ahead” with plans to bring in an F1 budget cap in 2021. A budget cap of $150m (£107m) is “central to the aim to close up the field”, the BBC reports.

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley said: “I can see the direction they are going in and from an independent team’s point of view, it’s very encouraging.

“At least four teams - Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren - will have to make some adjustments. But they are keeping everybody on board with that process.”

How to watch the F1 Bahrain Grand Prix on TV

Sky Sports will broadcast live from the F1 Bahrain GP this weekend. Tomorrow’s qualifying starts at 4pm UK time. Sunday’s Grand Prix is live at 4.10pm.

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