Lewis Hamilton has confirmed that he is no longer working with management company XIX Entertainment, with negotiations for a new contract with Mercedes set to take place under a different firm.
XIX Entertainment, owned by British businessman Simon Fuller, has been the driving force behind a number of celebrities’ careers over the past couple of decades, with clients including David Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, Annie Lennox and Carrie Underwood.
In 2011, Hamilton confirmed that he would also be joining Fuller’s books, having until then always been managed by his father, Anthony.
Since leaving McLaren for Mercedes, Hamilton’s image and fame has changed dramatically, and he is in pole position to win his second F1 world title this season.
His current contract with Mercedes expires at the end of 2016, and the team has said that it has put any negotiations on hold until the end of the season once the championship is decided.
Although he is expected to sign an extension, Hamilton confirmed that talks will take place with a different management team.
“There is not really much to say. The contract expired and I am going to be doing something different,” Hamilton said.
“I don’t know what yet, but I will decide at the end of the year.”
NBC/NBCSN SCHEDULE FROM UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX
There have been five different winners in the last five weeks of the NTT IndyCar season and driver that kicked off that streak in Elkhart Lake is in desperate need of a victory to help close the points gap to the leader. After being involved in the Lap 1 accident at Pocono Raceway last week, Alexander Rossi sits 35 points behind Josef Newgarden. Rossi’s two victories this season have come on road courses.
This week’s Bommarito Auto Group 500 the World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway is the third race on this track since IndyCar first revisited it in 2017. Newgarden took the checkers in 2017; Will Power grabbed the glory last year. Gateway also hosted races from 2001-2003.
Here are some of the storylines to watch this Sunday:
- For most of the drivers in the field, this will mark only their third time to race at Gateway, but two drivers were around in 2003 when IndyCar visited this track previously. Scott Dixon finished 15th in that race. He found the handle when Indy returned in 2017 to finish second and then third last year. Tony Kanaan was second in 2003; unfortunately he went the other direction and has not scored a top-10 at Gateway since.
- If one is looking for perfection on this track type, Simon Pagenaud is the only driver to sweep the top 10 on ovals in the past two years. In his last 10 starts on them, he has garnered an average finish of 5.2; his last five attempts have been sixth or better including a win in this year’s Indy 500. Pagenaud finished third at Gateway in 2017 and was fourth last year.
- The top two drivers in the points standings should also challenge for a top-five this week. Rossi was perfect alongside Pagenaud on ovals until his accident last week at Pocono with a sweep of the top 10 and seven top-fives in his last nine races. Newgarden also has nine top-10s and a worst of 13th on ovals in the past two years.
- Don’t count Dixon out of the points battle yet. While he currently sits 52 points out of first, Dixon is the hottest driver on the circuit with a current streak of five top-fives to his credit including his victory at Mid-Ohio two weeks ago. His oval record is a little spottier with two runner-up finishes and two 17th-place finishes in the last four races.
- Last week’s first-lap carnage ended Rossi’s top-10 streak at seven, but one other driver was able to sneak through and extend his. Graham Rahal will vie for his ninth consecutive top-10 this week, but that success is questionable in light of his Gateway record. Rahal finished 12th in 2017 and was barely able to crack the top 10 in 10th last year.
See More: IndyCar championship contenders seeing fortunes rise and drop
Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter