Toto Wolff insists he is ‘doing EVERYTHING’ he can to convince Lewis Hamilton to stay at Mercedes… with F1 star yet to get the five-year contract worth £250m that he wants
- Toto Wolff revealed he’s doing everything to keep Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes
- Hamilton is yet to sign a new deal and current contract will expire later this year
- The 38-year-old is demanding a 5-year contract if he is to remain with the team
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has insisted he is pulling out all the stops to convince Lewis Hamilton to stay with the team.
Hamilton has enjoyed one of the most successful spells in the history of motorsport since replacing his boyhood hero Michael Schumacher at Mercedes in 2013.
However, the 38-year-old’s current contract with the team is set to expire this year, and talks between the two parties have been ongoing for months.
Speaking on Desert Island Discs for the BBC, the former 24 Hours Nurburgring winner indicated that he is confident the seven-time world champion will play his part in the ‘resurrection of the team’.
‘Well I very much hope so,’ Wolf explained when asked if Hamilton would continue at Mercedes after this season.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff(right) has insisted he will do everything he can to convince Lewis Hamilton(left) to sign a new deal
Hamilton demanded a five-year contract that would see him race until he is 43 if he is to remain with Mercedes
‘I’m doing everything I can to make him stay. I think there is no need to persuade him.
‘He knows about all the goodness and although we struggled with the car this year, and last year, he will be part of the resurrection of the team.’
Wolff also detailed the close personal relationship he and Hamilton have developed in their more than ten years working together, likening his relationship with the driver to that of a couple.
‘The kind of analogy I gave to him is that also I have arguments with [my wife] Susie.
‘Even if we shout at each other, which didn’t happen a lot, but even if we have this argument, there’s never a thought of divorcing, and that’s why I said to him, “I don’t want to divorce you and neither do you. Because I want the best racing driver in our cars and you want to have the best car.”
‘So we came to the conclusion that we can have conflict, we can create an atmosphere where we’re able to be brutally honest with each other, and sometimes we agree to disagree, but we move on.’
Mail Sport reported earlier this summer that Hamilton has demanded a five-year deal worth £250m to remain at Mercedes, a contract that would see him continue racing until his 43rd birthday.
A source close to the negotiations told Mail Sport in June: ‘Lewis wants five years, and if it were just a one-year extension I don’t think he’d accept it.
Hamilton has won six drivers titles since replacing Michael Schumacher at Mercedes in 2013
‘They may need to reach a compromise because, while George [Russell] has probably made peace with the idea of Lewis being around for a couple of years, he might not accept being in the shadow of his team-mate for the long-term.
‘There is always a lure about Ferrari, but Lewis will probably think that his only hope of winning his eighth title is by staying where he is.’
After a run of dominance at the tail end of the 2010s, Hamilton has found himself unable to keep up with Red Bull star Max Verstappen in recent years.
The Dutch driver has emerged victorious in the last eight grand prixs, and holds a commanding 125 point lead at the top of the driver’s standings with teammate Sergio Perez the only other driver to have won a race this season.