After six races, Hamilton trails Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by four points in the championship after a rare mistake at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix last time out led to a 15th-placed finish.
But the Briton is expected to battle the Dutchman all season long in a duel that could go to the wire across the 23-race calendar.
In the background, talk about Hamilton’s future in the sport continues with Hamilton turning 37 next January and currently out of contract at the end of the season.
Motorsport.com report that Hamilton is willing to agree a wage cut in order to agree a new deal with world champions Mercedes.
Yet in order to do so, it is claimed he wants to double the bonus he currently receives for winning the title.
The report claims a deal will only guarantee Hamilton stays at Mercedes an extra 12 months although there will be an option for an additional year to take the agreement until the end of 2023.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is said to want a resolution to the matter by June 15 as he seeks to finish negotiations as quickly as possible.
This year, Hamilton did not sign a new one-year deal until February, nearly two full months after the conclusion of the 2020 season in which he tied Michael Schumacher for the most driver’s titles of all time.
There are said to be several aspects of a deal still to be thrashed out with it claimed Hamilton has asked Mercedes to secure him a future position in Daimler’s structure.
That is because once he finishes racing, he is keen to continue his work improving diversity in F1.
In fact, the defending champion – who has 98 race wins and 100 pole positions – insists he is more passionate about campaigning for diversity than he is about winning more titles.
“It’s not about dividing, it’s about bringing people together, it’s about holding people accountable. For me, I’m comfortable having conversations with my boss, with Mercedes, with partners.
“We have to have those uncomfortable conversations. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. ‘What can we do together to make it more diverse?’ All the businesses need to be more reflective of the world around us.
“It’s not going to change anything [winning the world championship]. I know who I am and what I’m capable of, where I come from and what we’ve achieved. What I would be proud of is that last year the team only had three per cent diversity.
“If at the end of this year we have five per cent or slightly more, and in the next couple of years we were into the teens, that for me is huge. So that’s what I’m most passionate about.”
F1 takes a week off this weekend but then returns for the French Grand Prix at Circuit Paul Ricard on June 18 to June 20.