Lewis Hamilton has revealed he hasn’t begun discussing a contract for the 2021 F1 World Championship season with the Mercedes AMG Petronas team, as he welcomed the news that Toto Wolff will stay on as team principal.
The newly-crowned seven-time F1 World Champion’s seat at Mercedes is now the only officially vacant seat on the 2021 grid following Sergio Perez’s confirmation with Red Bull Racing yesterday [Friday].
Despite this, there are few doubts Hamilton and Mercedes will race on together in the foreseeable future with only a question mark seemingly lingering over how long a contract he will sign having intimated he will begin planning for retirement in the coming years.
In the year he became the most successful F1 driver in history in terms of race wins, Hamilton’s contract could reflect that of Wolff, who on Friday was confirmed as staying on board as team principal for another three years as part of a deal that will see himself and chemicals firm INEOS assume one-third ownership each of the Mercedes AMG Petronas team alongside Daimler.
Speaking at the FIA Prize Gala, where Hamilton was officially recognised as the 2020 F1 World Champion, while the Briton says talks are yet to begin he otherwise welcomed the decision by Wolff to stay at the helm of the team.
“We haven’t started the conversation, Toto and I plan to do that over the coming days, we’ve been moving quite a bit over the past days, travel-wise,” he said.
“But otherwise on the super super plus side I’m really proud and grateful to see Toto signing, he’s such an important leading figure within this team, and the success that we have achieved would not have been possible without him.
“He is such a great figurehead and I think that the team is better for it to have that longevity, and it’s great to see the commitment from Mercedes, and then the added bonus of having INEOS, who came in this year and have been a part of our success this year, it’s great to see they’re going to part of this team and help with the stability of this team moving forwards, in growing to be better.
“It’s going to take a big push from us to continue to raise the bar in this organisation as I think we’ve done such a great job over these past years, but I think the right people are in the right place and it looks good, the future looks bright for this team I think.”