Lewis Hamilton has put his Formula One future on hold as he waits for the sport’s owners to deliver their future plans.
Liberty Media, the American conglomerate which is now in its second year at the helm of F1, will present its long-term vision to the teams here in Bahrain on Friday.
Liberty is determined to reduce costs, make the sport more competitive and introduce a simpler version of the complex engine which was introduced back in 2014.
Both Mercedes, winners of the past four driver and team championships, and Ferrari expressed grievances over Liberty’s first proposal with the latter threatening to walk away from the sport.
Hamilton is in the last season of his three-year deal, and, along with Mercedes, had expressed hope of completing his new £120million contract before the curtain raiser in Australia a fortnight ago.
But speaking ahead of the second round of the championship in Bahrain, the 33-year-old Englishman insists he will now delay finalising terms until the outcome of Friday’s crucial summit.
Confirming that there will be no announcement on his future this weekend, Hamilton said: “It is quite an interesting time in Formula One. Tomorrow there are discussions taking place over what is happening in F1 moving forwards.
“There is an announcement to be made and it is interesting to hear what is happening as I am an integral part of it.
“It will be great to know how (Liberty’s vision) is going to sit for us. Maybe it affects the driver market? Maybe it doesn’t, but that is what I am interested to know.
“It comes at a good time as I haven’t put pen-to-paper. It is good for the team and good for me. It is important we take our time because you should never rush anything.”
Defending champion Hamilton’s next contract with Mercedes, which will see him rubber-stamp his status as British sport’s biggest earner – is expected to take him until the end of 2020, with an option for an extra year.
Under the terms of the current Concorde Agreement – a deal which binds the teams and the major stakeholders to the sport – Hamilton’s Mercedes team would be free to leave in three years’ time.
Hamilton meanwhile, has stated on a number of occasions his desire to harbour a career away from motor racing when his F1 career comes to its conclusion.
“The last contract was the most important up until that point, and the next one will be even more important,” four-time champion Hamilton added.
“The decision as to how long you want to commit to Formula One is becoming more and more important, particularly for me as I am at the latter end of my career.
“There is no rush and I will not be rushed into it. You want to have all the information so you can make the most knowledgeable decision.”