Mercedes boss Toto Wolff hopes a new contract with Lewis Hamilton will be agreed “pretty soon” after the 2020 Formula 1 season begins.

Six-time world champion Hamilton’s current deal with Mercedes expires at the end of the year, but he is widely expected to remain with the German manufacturer for 2021.

Wolff confirmed a contract is yet to be agreed but is confident an extension can be thrashed out quickly once the pair are reunited ahead of the heavily-delayed 2020 season which begins next month in Austria.

"We didn't see each other over lockdown, we were in different parts of the world, but we were in regular contact, but we didn't work on any agreement,” he explained.

"Between us there is a lot of trust, we have been together for a long time, and never in these years together [have] we had to take the contracts out and read what was written in them because it comes so naturally.

"Therefore, once racing resumes, we're going to spend some time together, take the contract out of the cupboard, look at the timings and the numbers and the rights, and hopefully have something pretty soon.

Speaking on the Sky Sports F1 Vodcast, Wolff added: “The moment that Lewis touches down back in Europe we will sit down and carve out what needs to be carved out.

“We have been together eight years now, so the agreements don’t need to be reinvented. There is a good basis and I believe we could come to a point pretty swiftly.

“If you trust, and our relationship is based on trust, you know that your partner is not going to let you down.

“We are all aware that F1 is a tough business but I think what makes this team different is that loyalty and trust are important values and we live them every day.”

Despite expecting Hamilton’s continuation with Mercedes to be a formality, Wolff refused to rule out a move for Sebastian Vettel, who is without a drive for 2021 after it was announced he is leaving Ferrari at the end of the current campaign.

But Wolff stressed the four-time world champion would only be considered if a deal cannot be reached between Mercedes’ current drivers, with Valtteri Bottas also coming to the end of his contract.

"Sebastian is a four-time world champion and him suddenly becoming available was unexpected,” Wolff said. “And, therefore, it is a situation that needs to be monitored.

"Where could he potentially go, where are we with our drivers, and what I said [before] is I wouldn't discount Sebastian for any seat.

“We have looked at the situation. Our priority and concentration is on our Mercedes drivers - that's Lewis, Valtteri and the juniors. George Russell being one of them; Esteban Ocon is obviously a Renault driver today.

"And only if we can't find a solution within that group of drivers we will look elsewhere and then obviously Sebastian is in a very good position."

 

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