Lewis Hamilton is on the brink of signing a new two-year contract at Mercedes, which would secure his Formula 1 future until 2020, according to British Media.
The Daily Telegraph reports Hamilton will sign the $50 million USD contract before the British Grand Prix on July 8th.
Hamilton’s current contract is understood to end after the current season and the Briton has earlier hinted he’s ready to retire from Formula 1.
In November 2017, just after winning his fourth World Championship, Hamilton told Britain’s Express, “I’m really starting to focus on the future as my time comes to an end in F1.”
Former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard predicted earlier this year that 2018 would be Hamilton’s final season in the sport, saying that stress would get to the 33-year-old.
If Hamilton’s new contract is signed, it would all-but secure the Mercedes driver line up for 2019, with the Silver Arrows expected to retain Valtteri Bottas.
The new contract would confirm Hamilton as Britain’s highest-paid sports star.
He would, however, not be the highest-paid Formula 1 driver, with Sebastian Vettel reportedly on a $60 million USD contract at Scuderia Ferrari.
Hamilton’s deal would also have a major impact on the 2019 driver market, as it shuts off a front-running seat for Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who is out of contract at the end of 2018.
The Australian’s future is uncertain and he currently has not secured a 2019 drive.
It has been reported that McLaren made a whopping $50 million USD offer for Ricciardo to replace Alonso, who is believed to be looking into a full-time Indycar drive.