In a recent feature with Sky Sports, Martin Brundle spoke about his interactions with Sir Lewis Hamilton. According to Brundle, the seven-time world champion was "grumpy" and it could have something to do with his Mercedes contract talks.
Speaking during a SkyF1 testing preview, Brundle said:
"We did a couple of features with him that we will play out through the year on Sky F1. He was very generous but a bit grumpy actually, I thought generally. It’s interesting that his right-hand man, Marc Hynes, is no longer working with him."
“I sensed he possibly wasn’t super-happy with the way the negotiations have worked out at Mercedes.”
Lewis Hamilton's apprehensions before the start of the season
Brundle further added that Lewis Hamilton expressed reservations about the upcoming season.
“Once we got over that, I did say to him ‘you’re going to burst through 100 poles this year at some point, most likely’ and Hamilton said:
"Why? McLaren was a quarter of a second behind us in Abu Dhabi, now they’ve got our engine; what about Red Bull, maybe the high rake works; and don’t count out Ferrari, and the Aston Martin will be strong’."
According to Brundle, he was challenged by Hamilton and he replied:
"Well, you have got 98 of them, mostly in the hybrid era, you scored 10 last year – there’s half a chance you’ll get two more this year."
“But when we got over that little hurdle – because Lewis Hamilton does love to poke you a little bit before you sit down to do stuff like that – I had an hour with him talking about that amazing race in Istanbul last year when he took his seventh World title and he was very generous on inside his head, inside his life of a Grand Prix weekend and how qualifying unfolds.”
Trouble in Lewis Hamilton-Mercedes paradise?
It was strange to see a one-year extension signed by Lewis Hamilton earlier this year. After a prolonged period of contract negotiations, Mercedes and Hamilton, it seems, are still not on the same page.
After almost a decade of domination, neither the team nor the driver had the confidence to sign a multi-year deal. With Hamilton now sounding slightly grumpy just before the start of the season and questioning Mercedes' prospects for the year, there might just be a wrinkle starting to develop in the relationship between Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes. Could this be the beginning of the end of Hamilton and Mercedes' domination?