Lewis Hamilton’s future in F1 is getting personal for Toto Wolff who has pledged he wants to work with the seven-time champion for “longer”. Hamilton has previously discussed wanting to sign up for a “multi-year” deal which would see him remain with the squad until 2025.
However, the Mercedes star has yet to put pen to paper on a new agreement amid the Silver Arrows performance woes. Wolff’s comments come after Sky Sports’ Rachael Brooks asked whether Mercedes could be forced to reduce their offer to just a one year extension due to their lack of pace.
The latest revelation was also made just 24 hours after Wolff accepted Mercedes could lose Hamilton’s services if they are unable to give him a title-winning machine.
Brooks queried: “Would you then take that into consideration with maybe a one-year deal or something like that? Would that come onto the table?
Wolff replied: “The more we are in these difficult situations the longer I want to have a deal with him. We owe him a quick car. I think he’s on his absolute peak performance and has all the ability compounded by the experience.
“We just have to have a quick car so him and George are able to win races and fight for a championship.”
British F1 champions Jenson Button and Damon Hill have claimed Hamilton has yet to finalise a new agreement due to concerns over Mercedes competitiveness. The pair both agreed Hamilton was likely waiting to see how quick Mercedes were before signing up for another deal.
Hamilton shot down the suggestions and has repeatedly pledged his future to the team. Speaking in Thursday’s press conference, Hamilton commented: “I still have 100 per cent belief in this team. It is my family and I have been here a long time, so I don’t plan on going anywhere else.”
However, he lost his cool ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after suggesting team bosses didn’t listen to him over the direction of the W14. On Friday, Wolff confirmed the team would be prepared to lose Hamilton if they could not solve their issue in the coming two seasons.
He explained: “If Lewis wants to win another championship he needs to make sure he has the car. And if we cannot demonstrate that we are able to give him a car in the next couple of years then he will need to look everywhere. I don’t think he is doing it at this stage, but I will have no complaints if that happens in a year or two.”