Toto Wolff said Mercedes are waiting for a “quiet time over the winter” to sit down and discuss a new contract with Lewis Hamilton.
The 2022 season is Hamilton’s 10th in Mercedes colours having joined the team in 2013 but his association with famous German brand stretches back even further.
Indeed, every single F1 race he has taken part in, he has been powered by a Mercedes engine as McLaren, Hamilton’s previous team, used Mercedes engines during the six seasons the future seven-time World Champion was with them.
After speculation Hamilton may retire following the 2021 season, he returned to Mercedes and while it has without doubt been the worst campaign in his F1 career, there has been talk about a possible extension to his current contract.
Hamilton currently has a deal which runs until the end of 2023 but has been signalling his intention to extend that. Last month, he said he and Mercedes will discuss a new deal in the “next couple of months” and his boss Toto Wolff has confirmed that, saying they will wait until a “quiet time over the winter” to begin discussions.
“We haven’t started having talks,” Wolff said, as per Motorsport.com. “We want to definitely finish the season and then find some quiet time over the winter like we have done last time around, that literally started in the winter holidays and lasted over two months. We haven’t done that.
“But he’s much more than a driver to us now. Although we’re not talking about a career end, it’s also important to speak about his role as an ambassador for Mercedes and the many sponsors that we have, and the implication he can have in our wider audience.”
Hamilton and Wolff’s main goal for the time being is to win a race with the former’s record of having done so in every season of his career under serious threat.
Mercedes are also battling Ferrari for P2 in the Constructors’ Championship but Wolff said winning a race was of far more importance to him.
“A win would be proof that our car is back in the fight [while P2 could] also be because others dropped the ball and you are scoring more points.
“[P2 would] definitely be a consolation because Ferrari had the fastest car at the beginning of the season.
“Finishing in front of them would be great. but like I said, that’s not our main priority. The main priority is to understand the car and have a fast car out there.”