Lewis Hamilton’s contract situation at Mercedes is still yet to be resolved despite the Brit holding lengthy talks with the Silver Arrows over the last few months. Hamilton’s existing deal is set to run out at the end of this year, which will leave his Mercedes future hanging in the balance until he finally decides to put pen to paper.
The fundamental aspects of a new deal are said to have already been settled upon, with only minor differences holding up Hamilton from officially extending his decade-long association with the team. It has also been widely reported that the ongoing delays might have been down to discussions over an ambassadorial role at Mercedes upon his retirement, which was said to be among the choices available to him following the end of his career.
However, that no longer appears to be the case, with Toto Wolff saying last weekend: “We’re not talking about an ambassadorial role post his retirement, nor is that part of the contract negotiations. He has many years to go as a driver within the team and therefore it is only about cleaning things up in the contract.”
It leaves Hamilton with a variety of options to consider as he weighs up how to approach his post-racing career, during which he is likely to continue with his off-track activism as a priority. The Mercedes driver has gained a reputation for speaking up about injustices in recent years and often champions the improvement of diversity and representation in motorsport.
He previously founded the Hamilton Commission to highlight the lack of black people in the industry and is also collaborating with Mercedes on the Accelerate 25 programme, which is a five-year project to ensure that 25 per cent of new colleagues hail from under-represented backgrounds. It would not be a surprise if Hamilton continues to work in these areas following his retirement, rather than going into another field such as commentary or TV work like many other F1 drivers before him.
The seven-time champion may decide to juggle his activism with some of his other passions, which include fashion design and making music. Hamilton previously featured on a song with Christina Aguilera under the pseudonym XNDA back in 2018 and often posts on Instagram about tracks he has made, saying in March that he rarely finds the time due to the demands of racing in F1.
“I took a break to focus on other things but I also lost the drive to keep making music which has made me so sad,” he wrote. “It’s such a process and hard to do when you’re on the road 300 days a year, but it remains something I truly love and I am going to make more of an effort to do more.”
Hamilton is also known for his eccentric taste when it comes to fashion, another interest of his which served as a key element in the development of his own clothing brand, +44. As a result, a third option for him away from F1 may be to channel his efforts into designing clothes, while a fourth choice would be to expand his portfolio of racing teams after tasting success with X44 Vida Carbon in the all-electric Extreme E series.
Meanwhile, a venture into movie production has been in the works for some time following last year’s launch of Dawn Apollo Films, a company founded by Hamilton which already has two important projects in the pipeline. An untitled F1-themed film starring Brad Pitt is set to be released next year, with filming having taken place at several recent Grand Prix weekends, before the unveiling of a feature documentary on Hamilton’s own journey into racing.
It remains to be seen what Hamilton will decide to do when he calls it a day in F1, with a vast array of exciting career paths available to him outside of a motorsport setting. However, such a decision is unlikely to be made in the near future given that his immediate focus will be on finalising his proposed new contract at Mercedes over the coming weeks.