Wolff provides update on new Hamilton contract – ‘put heads together’
Lewis Hamilton on difficult season for Mercedes in November
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Toto Wolff has given an update on Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes contract situation with the seven-time champion’s deal with the team expiring at the end of the year. The Austrian has suggested that he is not worried about losing the British driver given the understanding the pair of them have, expecting them to ‘stick their heads’ together soon in order to get it sorted.
Hamilton is now into his 11th year with Mercedes with the team helping him to become the most successful driver of all-time. He has won six of his world titles while at the Silver Arrows after joining from McLaren in 2013. He also enjoyed an unprecedented spell of success for the team alongside Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas helping the to win eight consecutive Constructors Championships, a Formula One record.
However, 2022 was more difficult with the team failing to hit their usual heights after failing to adapt to the new technical regulations. He also failed to match the performances of new team mate George Russell over the course of the season as the 24-year-old managed to get the best out of the W13 more frequently.
It was only the third time in his Formula One career that he has failed to best the driver racing in the same colours, leading to suggestions that 2023 could be his last season in the sport with his contract expiring at the end of December.
However, Wolff has cooled this speculation suggesting it is only a matter of time until he extends his deal. The 51-year-old stressed that both parties have time before they need to enter negotiations suggesting the understanding between them means it is usually a quick process.
“We have a full year to go,” he said. “We’re so aligned in the last 10 years, our relationship has grown that it’s just a matter of him physically being back in Europe, sticking our heads together, wrestling a bit and leaving the room with white smoke after a few hours.”
Hamilton himself has already laid out the conditions that it would take for him to leave the sport, suggesting he will call it a day once he no longer wishes to give as much as he used to.
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“Each year, you have to ask yourself, are you willing to give as much – if not more – than you did when you first started? Are you willing to give up all the time to prepare and train and work with the team and deliver?” he said.
“If there’s ever a moment that I’m arriving and I’m just coasting along, then that’s when I don’t personally belong here and don’t deserve a position here, and that’s when I should stop.”
Hamilton will hope to challenge for the title again when the 2023 Formula One season gets underway, starting with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 5.
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