Formula One: Hamilton deserves his cash, says Lauda

Motor racing world champion Lewis Hamilton (above) deserves all the money he earns from his new three-year contract with Mercedes, according to team director Niki Lauda. -- PHOTO: AFP 
Motor racing world champion Lewis Hamilton (above) deserves all the money he earns from his new three-year contract with Mercedes, according to team director Niki Lauda. -- PHOTO: AFP 

MONACO (AFP) - Motor racing world champion Lewis Hamilton deserves all the money he earns from his new three-year contract with Mercedes, according to team director Niki Lauda.

Austrian Lauda, a three-time Formula One world champion, was closely involved in the negotiations that led to Wednesday's confirmation of a deal that is widely reported to be worth more than US$100 million (S$134 million).

Hamilton's former McLaren team-mate and fellow Briton Jenson Button, the 2009 world champion, said he had heard of the money that the 30-year-old may earn. "It's amazing," he said.

Mercedes gave no details of the financial arrangements in their announcement confirming the contract.

But Lauda said: "The world champions like Vettel, Alonso and Lewis all deserve roughly the same. They work for the money and they earn it. When you see how they drive and what they achieve, how Lewis has been driving, it is really something."