Lewis Hamilton's contract saga looks set to rumble on as pre-season testing approaches.
The seven-time world champion remains out of contract at Mercedes, after allowing his previous deal to wind down to a close in 2020.
Now, a new deal is proving frightfully tough to agree upon, with Mercedes looking to slim their budget ahead of the upcoming Formula 1 spending caps.
If reports are to be believed though, Hamilton is not massively enthused by the idea of earning less and is digging his heels in during difficult negotiations.
Mercedes kingpin Toto Wolff has admitted to arguments with the British star over Zoom and that lawyers are being made to work very hard to write up a deal that suits both parties.
Many believe, Bernie Ecclestone included, that all the drama is merely for show, while others believe that there is a genuine chance that Hamilton may end up without a seat in Formula 1 this year.
Former driver Ralf Schumacher has now waded into the debate, offering his opinion on the supposed stalemate.
Schumacher slammed the whole debacle, branding it 'embarrassing' before laying down a stern warning for Hamilton.
"It's a shame and almost a bit embarrassing," he said via Speedweek.com
"It is now February and the most important man in Formula 1, the seven-time world champion, has still not been confirmed as a driver.
"I keep hearing that it would be about money, but I hope that is not true. Hamilton in particular should know that in this day and age you cannot demand 100 per cent,''
''Hamilton should also know that Formula 1 is bigger than any individual. Maybe Hamilton needs to shake himself up now too.
There is still a risk of Mercedes putting George Russell in that car. Hamilton should never forget that.
Schumacher makes a very good point.
The world is a very different place now and Russell's electric performance at the Sakhir Grand Prix in 2020 should be a real cause for concern for Hamilton.
It would be a mighty shame for Hamilton to miss out on the chance for an eighth world title over some trivial contract disputes.
Hamilton is without a doubt the biggest name in the sport but even he may be forced to make some concessions in the current economic climate.
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