Hamilton is on course for another disappointing season this year in his quest to win a record-breaking eighth world championship, with Mercedes even further off the pace of Red Bull and also behind engine customer Aston Martin. 

Fernando Alonso's Podium SAGA with the FIA needs to CHANGE!

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has already conceded his side will need to abandon their troubled car concept in order to return to winning ways in F1. 

Mercedes’ poor start to 2023 has sparked speculation over whether Hamilton, 38, will extend his contract with Mercedes beyond the end of the year. 

Speaking at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Wolff stressed he is keen to tie Hamilton down to a “longer deal” as talks between the two parties continue. 

“The more we are in this difficult situation, the more I want to have a longer deal with him,” Wolff told Sky.

“He is such an important part in picking everybody up. When there are difficult days, the rest of the team picks him up.

“We owe him a quick car. He is at the peak of his performance. He has all the ability compounded by experience.

“We just need a quick car so he and George are able to win races and fight for the championship.

“It’s my personal thing - that I want this to happen.

“But time perspective is something that is very important to consider. In Formula 1 you can change things all the way you want, but sometimes you need a little bit more time.”

Over the Jeddah weekend, Wolff admitted he would not blame Hamilton for leaving Mercedes if the team’s struggles continue for another year or two. 

However, Wolff said he was “absolutely confident” Hamilton would sign a new deal.