'Sticky' issues slowing contract extension - Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton says he remains committed to extending his career at Mercedes beyond the current season despite admitting "sticky" issues need to be resolved with his new contract.
Hamilton's current deal expires at the end of 2015, with extension talks put on hold last year after the Belgian Grand Prix so he could focus on the championship battle. That tactic paid dividends as he won six of the next seven races on route to winning his second world drivers' championship, though he is yet to secure a deal since the conclusion of last year.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff recently said Fernando Alonso would be top priority for the team in 2016 if a Hamilton extension cannot be reached, but the Brit remains confident a deal will be done.
"I don't have a particular feeling," Hamilton said when quizzed about a new deal. "It would be great if we got the sticky parts out of the way early. But I'm sure it will be sorted - I want to stay and vice versa from the team."
Hamilton hinted these talks were underway during the first test in Jerez.
"I wasn't over there [in the Mercedes garage] a lot. I was involved in other things."
Wolff says his relationship with Hamilton is based on trust and thinks that should be enough to get a deal done. "I think you have to trust each other. You could say that in that environment trust is a bit niave but I believe if you trust each other in whatever relationship you have it's going to eventually be a very solid base and solid ground to make you perform even better. I believe that things need to happen, and if they don't happen but I would be very surprise if they went in a direction we didn't anticipate before.
"Contract negotiations need to be done properly and the relationship we have with each other is very solid. It's a relationship based on trust and transparency and that is exactly the way we are having those discussions, in a friendly environment. Everyone knows it needs to be optimised and the devil lies in the detail but I have no doubt in the way those discussions are being done that eventually we are going to come to a point to strike a deal. But there is no immediate pressure to make it happen tomorrow - our wish is to make it happen sooner rather than later."