As Toto Wolff assesses the task of finalising a new Lewis Hamilton contract, he expects it to be a pretty quick job.
With Hamilton’s existing deal set to conclude at the end of 2023, and the seven-time World Champion committed to Formula 1 for a good while longer yet, it makes agreeing on a new deal a priority for both parties.
After initially signing a one-year deal for 2021 shortly before pre-season testing, Hamilton later that year signed the multi-year extension which runs until the end of F1 2023.
And to finalise a deal that commits Hamilton to Mercedes beyond that time, team boss Wolff says all they need is a few hours of wrestling and the job will be done.
“We have a full year to go,” Wolff said. “We’re so aligned.
“In the last 10 years our relationship has grown that it’s just a matter of him physically being back in Europe, sticking our heads together, wrestling a bit and then leaving the room with white smoke after a few hours.”
Lewis Hamilton tells Toto Wolff he has ‘another five years’ in F1
Lewis Hamilton ‘head and shoulders’ above Senna, Schumacher for clean F1 record
Unsuspecting Lewis Hamilton fan kept ‘taking out’ Mercedes driver on video game
Mercedes Lewis Hamilton contract the only deal that makes sense
When any successful or highly-rated Formula 1 driver is potentially on the market, it is normal for rival teams to start sniffing around, like Red Bull did with Lando Norris before he agreed his long-term McLaren extension.
However, when discussing a seven-time champ in Hamilton, who has the most wins, poles and podiums in the history of the series, he is a driver that every team would dream of signing.
But, it is the Mercedes team, where Hamilton has become so integrated, which almost certainly feels like the team that Hamilton will see out his career with.
Max Verstappen and Hamilton together at Red Bull would bring must-watch carnage, and so is a route which Red Bull are never going to go down, while Ferrari seem to have their long-term line-up set with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, a dream move in the past for Hamilton, but one that never came close to happening.
Returning to where it all started with McLaren would seem like a midfield project that is a little too late in the day for Hamilton, so Mercedes really are the only viable option, hence why Wolff is right to expect agreeing this new contract to be a swift process.