Hamilton, Wolff plan to stay at Merc

Hamilton, Wolff plan to stay at Merc

LONDON • Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff will continue their assault on Formula One’s records next season, the pair made clear in the aftermath of Hamilton’s landmark 92nd career win in last Sunday’s Portuguese Grand Prix.

While both have contracts with the Silver Arrows that end this year and have avoided making any commitment for 2021, the pair erased doubts about their future together in an outfit set to claim a record seventh consecutive constructors’ title at this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Speaking to reporters via a post-race video news conference, Wolff said he had agreed with his Daimler boss Ola Kaellenius “to continue with each other” while Hamilton, in a separate interview, said he would like to remain with the Britain-based German team.

The remarkable relationship has powered Mercedes to a record six consecutive team titles and, for Hamilton, five drivers’ wins since they linked up in 2013.

“Where we stand today is that everybody has the will to continue,” said Wolff.

“With Lewis and I, it is simply that we are living like hermits and, I think, our team is particularly disciplined.

“I hope we can finish the next couple of races on a high and then concentrate on the contract.”

Six-time world champion Hamilton, who is odds-on to equal Michael Schumacher’s record for the most number of F1 championships this season, also told Sky Sports he could still improve.

The 35-year-old Briton said: “I don’t think I’m at my peak. I’m in a good area for sure, but I still want to continue to race.

“I don’t know how much longer that will be – this is a period of time when I’ve got to work out what the future holds. All I can say is I plan to be here next year.”

Hamilton’s commitment to Mercedes will be greeted warmly by his team and the sport in general.

“His achievement is just phenomenal,” said Mercedes’ trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin.

“He doesn’t show any sign of giving up or slowing down either. So, I suspect he’s going to go on and hit some more milestones, but it’s just a phenomenal achievement.”

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE