Wolff opens up on Hamilton contract talks, decision imminent

Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton has not put pen to paper on a contract extension at Mercedes, but talks are well and truly underway, team boss Toto Wolff confirmed on Thursday.



“Lewis has become such an important pillar within the team that it’s a no-brainer that we continue with each other,” the Austrian said in an interview on the team website.

“The discussions are ongoing in a very positive mindset and it’s just a matter of time when we seal it and put a signature to the document.”

Hamilton, who is now 33, will be out of contract and the end of the season. If he does manage to continue the form he showed last year, he could potentially become only the third driver to take five championships after seven-times title winner Michael Schumacher and the late Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio.

 On his part, Hamilton had spoken in November about how he felt that contract negotiations should be pretty straightforward.

“It is quite an easy process for us,” Hamilton said then. “We already have something in place and it’s really just about extending it and enhancing it, working on what more I can do for them, for the sponsors, the brand and vice versa.”

Hamilton recently got into a bit of a pickle following a post on his social media account, where he told his nephew not to dress in a dress.

Since then, he erased all those posts and has kept a relatively low profile.

His Twitter feed, followed by 5.25 million people, now has only two posts — one from the team and the other a sponsor — that the driver has retweeted.

On the expectations that fans should have from Mercedes’ car in the upcoming season, Wolff said the new F1 W09 car, to be launched at Silverstone on Feb. 22, was being fired up at the factory for the first time on Thursday.

“We’ve had a good winter, I would say,” he added. “No real drama, but there is always stress within the organisation at that time of the year.”

Wolff had preciously described last year’s car as a bit of a ‘diva’, given the fact that its handling characteristics were a bit tough to ascertain.




The Austrian said that testing at the end of this month will throw better light on whether his team has managed to control that element better this term.

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