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Lewis Hamilton could quit Mercedes if the Silver Arrows remain uncompetitive, according to team boss Toto Wolff. The Austrian confirmed Hamilton could look at other teams if the German manufacturer is unable to win “in the next couple of years”. 


He was clear Hamilton needed to “make sure he has the car” capable of racing at the front if he wants to secure an eighth championship before walking away from the sport. Wolff made the remarks at Friday’s press conference ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Initially, he suggested Hamilton was unlikely to leave the squad but appeared to quickly change his mind. Wolff explained: “I don’t think Lewis is leaving Mercedes. “I don’t think Lewis will leave Mercedes. He is at the stage of the career where we trust each other and we have formed a great bond with each other. 

“We have no reason to doubt each other even if this is a difficult spell. So nice it will be when we come out of this valley of tears and come back to solid performances. 


“As a driver, nevertheless, if he wants to win another World Championship, he needs to make sure he has the car. If we cannot demonstrate that we are able to give him a car in the next couple of years then he needs to look everywhere.”

Speculation around Hamilton’s future has increased since Bahrain after Mercedes failed to match Red Bull and Ferrari for a second year running. Earlier this week, Martin Brundle suggested the British F1 icon would not be afraid to walk away.

Sky Sports host Simon Lazenby has also refused to rule out switching allegiances with Ferrari tipped as the most likely option. It comes as Hamilton has yet to put pen to paper on a new multi-year extension to his Mercedes deal. 

On Thursday, Hamilton stressed would not be leaving the German marque regardless of their performance. He commented: “I still have 100 per cent belief in this team, it is my family and I’ve been here a long time, so I don’t plan on going anywhere else.

“But we all need a kick, we all need to get on – the proof is in the pudding, we’ve seen where the performance is and how people are extracting the performance, and we’ve got to now start making some bold decisions, some big moves in order to close the gap to these guys.”

However, the multiple world champion unleashed an incendiary outburst in the run up to the race in Jeddah. The 38-year-old said he demanded team bosses “own up” and take “accountability” after not listening to him over the direction of the new 2023 model.