Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton has retaken the lead in the F1 Drivers' Championship. In this picture, Hamilton holds his trophy as he celebrates on the podium after the Formula One Grand Prix de France at the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, southern France, June 24, 2018. BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton’s long running contract saga looks to be coming to a conclusion with reports suggesting it could be announced before the British Grand Prix on July 8.

The four-time Formula 1 Drivers’ champion and the Mercedes F1 team have been in talks since the end of the last season, but are yet to come to an agreement.

Hamilton and the reigning Constructors’ champions have continually stated their commitment to each other, and are said to have agreed to a deal in principal with just minor details needing to be sorted out.

Mercedes were hoping to have Hamilton tied down to a new deal before the season opening Australian Grand Prix, but are heading into the mid-point of the season with no driver confirmed for the 2019 season.

That is going to change, according to the Telegraph, with Mercedes set to announce the deal before the British Grand Prix on July 8. The report claimed the new two-year deal will see Hamilton become the highest earning sportsman in the United Kingdom with wages of around £40m ($52m)-per-season.

It remains to be seen if the Briton will commit longer than two years with the sport facing multiple changes when the current Concorde Agreement expires in 2021. However, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff expects the new deal to be concluded soon and even hinted they are waiting for the right time to make the announcement.

“We don’t want to drag it out much longer,” Wolff said, as quoted by the Telegraph. “I expect it to be done very, very soon.”

“Maybe it is about choosing the right moment,” the Austrian added.

Meanwhile, the identity of Mercedes’ second driver for the 2019 season still remains unclear. While Hamilton is certain to remain with the team, they are yet to make a decision if his teammate Valtteri Bottas will be handed a new deal.

The Finn was handed a one-year extension midway through last season, but his place will be decided by the consistency of his performances. Wolff indicated their primary focus for Hamilton’s teammate is going to be from the drivers already on the team’s books and Bottas’ performances suggest that he could be retained.

The other drivers on the Silver Arrows team’s roster are Esteban Ocon, currently driving for Force India and young British driver George Russell, who currently participates in F2.

However, the outside option for Mercedes is Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo, who is also out of contract at the end of the current campaign. The Australian driver is yet to make a decision on his next destination, but has made it clear he will sign with a team that can provide him with a car that can challenge for the Drivers’ title.

The Austrian team are desperate to hold on to him, but Mercedes and Ferrari are his main options in terms of driving a potential title winning car. But McLaren have also entered the race and are willing to reportedly offer him around $20m-per-season to join them and help get them back to winning ways.