Six-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton says all his rivals, including Max Verstappen, call Mercedes boss Toto Wolff about driving for the team.
Mercedes made history this year with an unprecedented sixth consecutive Drivers’ and Constructors’ title double.
Hamilton is the king of Formula 1 right now, finding himself in the golden seat of the sport, but that means every driver is calling Mercedes boss Wolff to try and take Hamilton’s place.
The 34-year-old was speaking at the FIA’s end-of-season awards where he was presented with the World Championship trophy – he was on stage after Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, and the Briton said that he and every driver was calling Wolff about a Mercedes seat with the 2021 driver market wide open.
“It’s an interesting time because there’s a lot of drivers who are seeking positions everywhere,” said Hamilton.
“I’m talking about the calls Toto gets from every driver, including the one who was up here just recently, asking to come.
“Everyone is trying to leave their team to come to where we are. Which is an understandable thing because everyone wants to win, they all want to be a part of a winning formula.
“But I don’t think it’s a stressful thing at the moment. There’s always a clear pathway of communication between myself and Toto. There’s never been any secrets and that won’t change.”
Although Hamilton hasn’t thought about his plans for 2021 in too much detail, he stressed that he’s very happy at Mercedes and believes no other team has the same “elements” in place for their kind of success.
“I love where I am and I love the people that I work with,” said the six-time World Champion. “So it’s really difficult to walk away from something you love as much as I do.
“The team, the organisation, all the way through to the bosses.
“I’ve been with Mercedes since I was 13 so it’s really hard to imagine myself anywhere else.
“What we’ve built in the last seven years, obviously Mercedes has been working longer than that, it’s dominant, it’s a strong force.
“I think it’s taken us time to build that, the strength in depth, the consistency we have. It’s not something that’s come overnight.
“The other teams currently don’t have the elements we have in place. And it takes time to build those things.”