Formula 1

Mercedes making Lewis Hamilton wait before discussing new deal

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Lewis Hamilton has been told he must wait until the end of the season before discussing a new contract with Mercedes, so he can concentrate on battling for this year's title.

The British driver is currently leading the Formula One drivers' championship by just three points after his victory in Singapore last time out, ahead of German team-mate Nico Rosberg.

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Rivals

They both go into this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka knowing the smallest mistake could put the title in favour of the other.

Hamilton still has 15 months left to run on his contract, which is worth a staggering £17million a year.

However, Rosberg has already signed a new deal tying him up until 2017 which has potential to fuel the fire in the simmering relationship between the pair.

Regardless of this, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is confident of keeping the 29-year-old, he told reporters: "On both sides we decided to postpone the issue because the championship is so intense. Rather than be discussing commercial issues, we want to get to the end of the season.

"Then we will sit down with Lewis and hopefully everything will be in the bag for years after 2015."

Hamilton's year?

Hamilton is on course to win his first championship since 2008, having switched from McClaren to Mercedes for the start of the 2013 season; he finished fourth last year.

The Brit has won seven races so far this season and he will be aiming to add to those as the season draws to its climax.

Mercedes have dominated the constructors' championship and have 479 points, a whopping 174 more than closest rivals, Red Bull.

Weather worry

But there is a worry that this weekend's race in Japan could be in doubt, with a typhoon set to hit the country over the next couple of days.

Forecasters warn they are unsure about the path the tropical storm could take, but insist that heavy rain and hurricane force winds would be a huge safety issue for both the drivers and fans.

If the race does go ahead, it will be interesting to see the outcome between team-mates and rivals Hamilton and Rosberg.

Despite being 60 points behind the leader, Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo can't be ruled out as a contender - with 150 points still on offer over the final five races.

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Formula 1

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