Hamilton “surprised” by F1 plan to introduce salary cap for “very emotional” drivers

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Lewis Hamilton admitted to being “surprised” by the plans of Formula 1 to introduce a salary cap for drivers.The case was aired during a videoconference meeting of the F1 Commission on Monday and received unanimous support from all 10 teams.

While no details have been officially ratified, the goal is to introduce a cap of $ 30 million from 2023, with that figure to be split between the two drivers on a team.

Such a figure seems to pose a problem for Hamilton and Mercedes, as it is understood that the six-time F1 champion’s current contract is worth around $ 30 million a year.

Hamilton insisted the cap plan “has nothing to do” with the delay in his negotiations on a new contract with Mercedes, which are currently on hold until the 35-year-old and the team have completed this season’s drivers and constructors’ titles.

Asked about the likely introduction of a cap, Hamilton said, “From a driver’s perspective, it’s a surprise to us. We had heard about the idea some time ago, I think it may have been last year in France, but this is the first we heard about this week.

“I think it’s important the GPDA [Grand Prix Drivers’ Association] working closely with F1 and initiating discussions. ”

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff also believes it is important that the driver’s representative body is involved in such discussions.

Acknowledging the difficulties in imposing a cap, especially given the tight structure of a driver’s contract with respect to image rights and personal endorsements, Wolff said: “The discussion around this topic is very moving. .

“F1 teams, to be long-term sustainable and attractive as sports franchises, must be profitable, like any other business, and we all have to achieve that.

“On the other hand, it’s clear that the drivers – and the Formula 1 drivers are the best in the world – should earn high salaries, like all the other big stars in the sport.

“Today their income is limited because of what they get from the team, the scope of their brand promotion, endorsement deals, etc.

“This is why it will be very interesting to sit around the table with the representatives of the pilots, and the pilots themselves, to see how we align ourselves in the long term so that everyone benefits from the growth of Formula 1, like American sport has done, without really hurting future profits for drivers. ”

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