Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius said he is “very certain” that his partnership with Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff will continue.
Mercedes are currently on a run of dominance in the sport which has never been seen before. For the past six seasons the Silver Arrows have claimed both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships, and that will almost certainly become seven straight in 2020.
However, two key members of this successful team have question marks surrounding their futures.
The first of these is six-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton who is out of contract at Mercedes once the 2020 season concludes, while Wolff also must sign a new deal to remain with the team.
Wolff has consistently said that the delay in Hamilton’s contract is simply due to neither party having time to sit down and discuss it yet, but the Austrian has made it clear that he is considering his own future.
It’s unlikely Wolff would walk away from Mercedes completely, but whether he would continue as team principal or not is less clear.
Either way, Kallenius was clear in his belief that he and Wolff will continue working together.
“As far as our partnership is concerned (looking at Wolff), we work very closely together, I am very certain that we will continue that partnership going forward,” he told Channel 4.
At the Eifel Grand Prix Hamilton matched Schumacher’s record of 91 race wins, and with Schumacher’s ultimate record of seven World Championships now also firmly in sight, similar comparisons can be drawn in how the pair got there.
Hamilton joined Mercedes in 2013 at a time when they were beginning to show potential as a race-winning team, and come the following season their domination began.
Michael Schumacher joined a struggling Ferrari in 1996 and inspired them to a run of six Constructors’ Championships in a row from 1999-2004, while five of Schumacher’s seven titles came with Ferrari in consecutive years from 2000-2004.
And while Kallenius said Hamilton was the right driver to match Schumacher’s race wins record, he added that the German is an “icon” who stands on his own pedestal.
“First of all I’d just like to say that Michael Schumacher is an icon, he’s a legend, so he stands there on his own,” he explained.
“This is a very special day [for Lewis]. To reach those 91 wins, nobody thought that could be done.
“I think Lewis is the right driver to do it, what he has done over the years is amazing and if we add his pole-setting record to that it’s something for the history books really.”
💬 "I can’t respect Lewis’ efforts enough. 91 wins is a number I thought would never be equalled."
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) October 17, 2020
Kallenius also highlighted the extent of how Hamilton’s achievements has promoted the Mercedes brand worldwide, and hopes that the Briton decides to continue working with the team.
“This does so much for us, for the brand and technology transfer to our high performance cars at the AMG, generally building the brand around the world,” he explained.
“And the combination of Lewis and Mercedes has obviously been a very successful one and one that we would like to continue.”