LONDON, United Kingdom, Oct 29 – Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is eager to avoid giving Lewis Hamilton a one-year contract.
Wolff himself is out of contract at the end of the season and no new deal has yet been signed for him to continue as team principal of Mercedes.
And the Austrian has made it clear that he is wary of outstaying his welcome with the dominant Mercedes team and going from great to good, while he is also considering the impact of the role on his family time.
But what has been said is that Wolff definitely is going to remain with Mercedes in some capacity.
Exactly what that will be though is yet to be finalised, though Wolff wants confirmation before Formula 1 heads into the Christmas break.
“Ola [Kallenius, Daimler chairman] and I have stated it several times that we have decided to continue with each other,” he is quoted by The Race.
“The contract negotiations are a bit more complicated because of the shareholding situation, but not in a bad way. It’s just a long process to get things right.
“We know we have a deadline until the end of the year when everything needs to be sorted out.
“None of us wants to go into the Christmas break without knowing.”
But Wolff also gave a hint that his role will remain to run the Mercedes F1 team when discussing another major contract renewal which needs to happen.
That being the contract of Lewis Hamilton. The six-time World Champion is set to become a free agent as of the end of 2020 unless a new deal is struck, though both sides keep suggesting that will happen.
And Mercedes are keen to avoid a one-year deal for Hamilton which would mean a repeat of all this next year.
“We are in a new world and COVID really has changed the way we do business and the environment,” he said.
“[But] I think everything should be done this year. I don’t want to go into any other negotiation mid-year next year and drag it on again.
“We all need to be concentrated on our job, Lewis driving, me running this team and Ola [Kallenius, Daimler boss] turning the big wheel.”
Speaking on BBC Radio Four’s Today programme, Wolff added: “If an asteroid hits the world then anything can happen, but at the moment there’s no reason he wouldn’t want to be in the quickest car and we want him in the car so it’s a perfect match.
“We’re a good team, the two of us, but if I were to go, there’s a fantastic group of people in Brixworth and in Brackley and I think they would do pretty well without me.
“And he needs to continue his career. If we can do it together, that would be wonderful.”