Hamilton waiting on Wolff ahead of 2021 contract talks

15 November 2019 - 09:24 By Reuters
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain has said he will not sign a new contract until he knows where Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff's 'head is at'.
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain has said he will not sign a new contract until he knows where Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff's 'head is at'.
Image: Charles Coates/Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton intends to stay in Formula One beyond 2020, but said on Thursday he wanted to know Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff's personal plans before agreeing to a new deal.

The six times world champion, like most of his rivals, is out of contract after next season with a major shakeup of the sport scheduled for 2021.

He recognised at the Brazilian Grand Prix, however, that he was "kind of joined at the hip" with Mercedes after seven years together.

There could also be a change at the helm of Formula One post-202,0 and Austrian Wolff has been talked about as someone who could play such a role.

"I know being stuck in any position for too long can not always be a positive, so I always want people to spread their wings and do what’s best for their careers," said Hamilton.

"I don’t know what that is for him (Wolff). Only he will know," added the Briton, who said Wolf has been "the perfect match" for him and Mercedes.

"Naturally I don't want him to leave, particularly if I'm staying in the sport. It is important to me and I am waiting to see where his head is at."

Schumacher's record:

Wolff is not in Brazil for Sunday's penultimate race of the season, with Mercedes having already won both titles for an unprecedented sixth year in succession.

Hamilton clinched his sixth championship in Texas this month, and will be aiming to equal Michael Schumacher's record seven next year, when he will be 35 years old.

The Briton's last contract negotiations were protracted and fans still speculate about whether he might end his career at Ferrari.

"I’ve obviously considered the next few years. I know  I want to continue racing. I love what I’m doing. I see no reason to stop any time soon," Hamilton said.

"It's almost like I only just did this contract and I’ve already got to start talking about the potential of the next one.

"It’s another stressful moment when you have to get into the ring and have a friendly yet intense conversation about terms and all those kind of things. But I’m used to it and like to think I’m a relatively good negotiator."

Hamilton also revealed he had received text messages from 2007 McLaren team mate Fernando Alonso and former McLaren boss Ron Dennis after Austin.

"Seeing Ron's text, it really touched me inside," said the champion, who first met Dennis as a 10-year-old go-karter.

"He saw something in me that no one else did, except for my dad. He gave me an opportunity to showcase my abilities and learn and to grow. Without him, I most likely wouldn't have made it to F1."