'Five more years' - Wolff on Hamilton's F1 future - The Race

‘Five more years’ – Wolff on Hamilton’s F1 future – The Race

Toto Wolff says a Mercedes contract extension for Lewis Hamilton “is going to happen” and Hamilton believes he can continue for at least five years in Formula 1.

Hamilton’s current contract with Mercedes F1 runs until the end of 2023, when he will celebrate his 39th birthday. He has previously said he won’t see himself in his 40s, but also indicated earlier this season that he “still enjoys what I do” and “feels like I have a lot of fuel left in the tank.”

“I’m sure we’ll sit down at some point and talk about the future,” Hamilton said ahead of the F1 summer break in August.

During July’s French Grand Prix, Wolff was asked about Hamilton’s prospects of reaching 400 Grand Prix starts (he is currently at 305) and said talks between them focused on the “5 to next 10 years.

In an interview for Channel 4 F1 with David Coulthard, posted on Channel 4 Sport’s YouTube channel on the day of the Singapore GP, Wolff suggested a contract extension for Hamilton was only a matter of time.

“The advantage is that we talk a lot together [both live near each other in Monaco]. Just last week we sat down and he said ‘look, I still have five years in me, how do you see that?’ Said Wolff.

“Over time, we just grew together. We are completely transparent with each other. Lewis will be the first to say ‘I can’t do this anymore’ – because I feel like I’ve run out of reactions, or I just lost fun doing it and there’s another generation growing up which is just very strong.

“So I have no doubt that whatever we agree on a contract extension, what’s going to happen, the two of us will always discuss, very openly, what the future holds for us. .”

Wolff described Hamilton as F1’s ‘shining star’ and the ‘greatest personality Formula 1 has ever had’. He also suggested that Fernando Alonso competing in F1 well into his 40s could perhaps serve as an example for Hamilton in terms of longevity.

“I don’t know if 40 is the age where you say it’s not enough for a racing driver anymore,” added Wolff.

“If you look at where Fernando is at 41, he’s still very much there. Now, is he the same Fernando he was at 25? I don’t know, but he’s still very competitive.

“You look at Tom Brady [NFL star] he’s someone I really admire for his discipline in the way he runs his life and his sport, he’s 43 or 44 – and he’s on the pitch.

“So Lewis, with the way he lives his life, with complete and ultra-tight focus on his Formula 1 racing – all the others are just hobbies – I think he can go quite far.”

Wolff also expects to retain current Hamilton team-mate George Russell for the ‘long term’, having been impressed with Russell’s performance and integration into Mercedes’ current setup despite a particularly difficult season so far. now in 2022.

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“George has been great to join the team,” said Wolff. “He’s a good personality, he acts with integrity, he’s very transparent working with Lewis – those two have really added to the development slant of the team this year.

“He was obviously hoping to be in a Mercedes and win races and championships, he got the timing wrong, but at least he’s progressed in midfield now!

“That moment will come – he will win races, he will race for championships and I think he absolutely has it in him.

“I feel very good to have him in the team for the long term.”

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