Mercedes explains delay in Lewis Hamilton contract talks

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Advantage Mercedes as Ferrari falters (1:33)

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BARCELONA, Spain -- Both Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes insist a new contract is not far away and has only been delayed in order to let the team focus on its on-track issues last month.

Hamilton was expected to put pen to paper on a new deal at the start of the season, but as of the fifth round of the championship nothing has been announced. His existing contract expires at the end of this season but he is expected to extend his deal for at least one more year with the reigning four-time world champions.

After meeting with board members from Mercedes' parent company Daimler over the grand prix weekend, Hamilton insists a deal will be signed in the "near future".

"We've had all the bosses here and there is not a single person in the team or at least the hierarchy of the team that has any concerns, as far as I am aware," he said. "We do talk about it and we are not really far away from finishing things so it will happen hopefully in the near future."

Despite back-to-back wins at the last two races, Hamilton was struggling for performance prior to the Spanish Grand Prix. Team boss Toto Wolff said the team's focus had been on beating Ferrari over the past month and would switch to contract talks when a better opportunity arises.

"Obviously we don't want to lose him and I don't think he wants to go anywhere else," Wolff said. "Everything's going fine.

"I think it's just how you feel towards each other and there is no reason why we shouldn't be racing with each other for a few more years. We had other priorities in the last few weeks. We weren't happy with our car's performance and we needed to sort things out.

"Finalising a contract is something that you need to involve yourself in and spend time, and we both decided we'd park it for a minute where we were. But it's almost all sorted and we will pick it up at the right time. This is what we will do and we will let you know as soon as possible."