Six-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton says Toto Wolff’s future will influence his own decision whether to continue with Mercedes beyond the end of 2020.  

Wolff’s contract with the six-time double championship winning German manufacturer expires at the end of 2020, leading to speculation regarding his future. 

The 47-year-old Austrian, who was absent from a race weekend for the first time since joining Mercedes in 2013 at the Brazilian Grand Prix, has been linked to a role at F1 owners Liberty Media, possibly filling the CEO position currently held by Chase Carey. 

Hamilton, whose deal also runs out next year, is concerned Mercedes “could go the wrong way” if Wolff leaves the team. 

“It’s a difficult one because I’m always supportive of everyone within my team,” Hamilton said. “I know that being stuck in a position for too long can also not always be a positive.

“So I always want people to constantly spread their wings and do what is best for their careers. I don’t know what that is for him, only he will know.

“But I also know that the as a figurehead of a business, you’ve got to have the right people in place. He is and has been the right person, he has been the perfect match. So naturally I don’t want him to leave, particularly if I’m staying in the sport. But again, ultimately, that’s going to be his choice.

“If you look at some places, what has been built will continue for a period of time. But then a new person that comes in will then start doing things their way and, most likely, more often or not, could go the wrong way.

“But again, this team is not one person. It’s a huge group of people. And they’re not going to be leaving, in general, so they will still be able to do the job they do. That is important for me.

“I’m waiting also to see where he is, where his head is at,” the Briton added. 

“The sport could also be in a good place with someone like him running it. But I don’t know if that’s more of a fun experience as opposed to in a team and winning. But again, that’s down to him.”

 

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