Speculation over Hamilton’s future has mounted after Mercedes made another poor start to the season, with the seven-time world champion finishing fifth and over 50 seconds behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen at the Bahrain Grand Prix. 

Why Mercedes car concept needs to CHANGE

Mercedes’ dismal performance in Bahrain led Wolff to admit that the team had accepted their current car concept would need to be changed in order to get back to the front of the grid. 

Despite the setback to Hamilton’s bid to win a record eighth world title, Wolff is certain the 38-year-old, who is out of contract at the end of the year, will agree fresh terms with Mercedes. 

“I have no idea what is being said in the silly season, I just know where we are with Lewis and with George and nothing else is relevant,” Wolff said. 

“We are talking about when we want to do it and how. We just need to change some terms - the dates basically.”

Asked if he is confident Hamilton will stay at Mercedes beyond the end of 2023, Wolff replied: “I am absolutely confident.” 

Hamilton insisted he has no intention of leaving Mercedes ahead of this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix amid suggestions he could join a rival team, or quit F1 altogether. 

While Wolff is sure Hamilton will commit to Mercedes, he conceded he would expect the Briton to consider his options if the team fail to provide him with a winning car in the next couple of years. 

“I don’t think Lewis will leave Mercedes,” Wolff added. 

“He’s at the stage of his career where we trust each other, we have formed a great bond and we have no reason to doubt each other, even though 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 championship he needs to make sure he has the car. And if we cannot demonstrate that we are able to give him the car in the next couple of years then he needs to look everywhere. 

“I don’t think he’s doing it at this stage. But I will have no grouch if that happens in a year or two.”

Wolff also said he no issue with Hamilton’s public criticism of Mercedes for failing to listen to his development concerns. 

“We speak all the time but it’s not a single word that matters in the team because we know each other so well,” Wolff said. 

“We know there are emotions at play, with him, with me and with many others in the team and we wear our heart on our sleeves. 

“Sometimes you say thing which the media very quickly translates it in a controversial way or polarising. 

“Inside the team it never causes any waves because we know that the emotions can run high. If I see a lap time deficit coming together or a race that doesn’t go well, I’d also like to say that I’m not happy where the car has been developed to. 

“But that’s okay. Inside the team we want the emotion high and we have tough love. We are saying it straight out what’s missing and nobody is ever going to not take it on the chin in the team.”