Hamilton deal ‘unlikely’ this week

Despite stating in Malaysia that he expected to have a new contract within a week, Lewis Hamilton now says it is "unlikely" that he'll sign before China.

Although both Hamilton and Mercedes are keen to extend their relationship beyond his current three-year contract, they have yet to finalise the finer points.

Doing the negotiating by himself for the first time, the reigning World Champion admits it is becoming "quite a pain in the backside."

Asked by Sky Sports News HQ if a new contract would be secured this week, Hamilton said: "I think it is unlikely.

"Obviously at the last race I said it would be done within a week, this is my first time negotiating myself and you don’t know how many times I’ve had to read about 80 pages – it is so much reading and it is all in lawyer jargon.

"So it has been a quite a pain in the backside to be honest."

But with first practice for the Chinese GP weekend just a day away, Hamilton's attention is now firmly on what is happening out on track.

Last time out in Malaysia he was beaten to the chequered flag by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who he hopes to be battling with again this weekend.

"This is a race where it is much cooler than the last race.

"In previous years Ferrari have always struggled to get temperature up in their tyres, but they have done a good job in previous years here.

"I think it will be really interesting, but I am up for a race – I hope we have a race with these guys because they are just as quick as us on the straights and they had amazing pace in the last race.

"So hopefully for the fans you get to see some battling between myself and Sebastian."

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