Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff is hopeful that seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton signs a contract extension with the team for 2022.
Mercedes and Hamilton only agreed terms to race this season in February 2021 after his previous contract with the Silver Arrows expired over the winter.
The Briton, who won the opening round of the season in Bahrain, has been with the German squad since 2013 and has won six titles with the team. However, Hamilton will be eyeing an eighth title win and a contract extension beyond this season hasn’t yet been finalised. The Mercedes boss however, is confident that terms can be reached to snatch the star driver for 2022 with a deal done by the summer.
“I very much hope so,” said Wolff. “The journey that we have had together was very successful. He has been a Mercedes driver – a Mercedes kid since his go-karting years. He never raced a single weekend in Formula 1 without a Mercedes power unit, so it’s the logical continuation of the story.
“Certainly, we don’t want to leave it until January to confirm the two drivers. Valtteri [Bottas] was pretty regular during the summer – this is when it should happen. Also, to give the driver peace of mind, or be able to concentrate on the job.”
Next season brings a unique set of challenges which sees F1 adopt a number of new technical regulations which could potentially shake up the order.
Mercedes junior driver and current Williams driver George Russell is future prospect after an exceptional stand-in performance for Covid-hit Hamilton at the Shakir Grand Prix last season.
However, Wolff will try to balance what is best for Mercedes and demonstrate loyalty to the teams’ current drivers.
“Obviously for next year there’s lots of balls in the air and we will always try to do the best for the team long-term while also giving total loyalty to our current driver line-up.
“We are not doubting either Valtteri or Lewis but discussions obviously are going to happen – but not in January next year.”