Lewis Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes runs out at the end of this year. After sealing his seventh title in Turkey yesterday, attention has turned towards his future.
Team boss Toto Wolff, whose future has also been under the microscope throughout 2020, believes discussions about a new deal with their British driver will begin after the season concludes in Abu Dhabi on the 13th of December.
“I think more than likely, we are looking towards the end of the year,” Wolff said.
“Not that we wouldn’t find time for each other, but I don’t want to put ourselves under pressure to say before Bahrain or before Abu Dhabi we will announce a new contract.
“There isn't any pressure. When it’s done, it’s done.”
While Hamilton said following the race yesterday that contract talks are ‘’something that we do need to get onto,” he believes it shouldn’t be something that is forced and wants to focus on the final three races of the season before starting discussions with Mercedes.
“I always think through the year that I’ve got a job to do, I’ve got a contract in place, I don’t feel like I should add pressure. It has to be organic and not something that’s forced,’’ said Hamilton.
“There are days when you think, what happens if you start making mistakes? What happens if you get worse all of a sudden, you don’t put in these great performances? Does your value decrease? Does your bargaining power decrease? Does your reputation go off a cliff?
“I know there are scenarios in life where you’re like ‘let’s sign up real quick’, so you guarantee your future.
“I’ve bet on myself. I do the work. I know myself better than anyone and I know what I can do, and I know how to do it. Better than ever.
“So, I wanted to put it aside and wait until the job is done.”
“Probably over these next weeks – we’ve got three weeks in the Middle East – now it’s a bit more chilled, but I still have three races ahead of me that I want to win.
“It’s not done but we will get it done, I’m sure.”
Hamilton said following the Imola Grand Prix that there were no guarantees that he’ll be on the grid next year, but Wolff has no doubts that they’ll continue together for a while yet.
“He loves racing, and the competition, as does the team and myself,” Wolff said.
“I think if we wouldn’t have the competition against the stopwatch, life would be not as fun.
“So I see us going for more next year, maybe putting another great year on, and then we have this tremendous challenging regulation change for 2022.
“We’ll go for a while.”