Stefano Domenicali, the Formula 1 chief executive, has urged Mercedes to return Lewis Hamilton to winning ways as the seven-time World Champion’s new contract remains unsigned.
Hamilton is the most successful driver in F1 history, having equalled Michael Schumacher’s long-standing record of seven titles in 2020 before becoming the first man to surpass 100 pole positions and grand prix victories the following year.
The British driver won six titles in seven years from the start of F1’s V6 hybrid era in 2014 but Mercedes’ ongoing struggles under F1’s current regulations means he remains without a victory since the penultimate race of 2021, having been denied a historic eighth World Championship in highly controversial circumstances.
F1 boss wants Mercedes to make Lewis Hamilton a winner again
With his existing contract due to expire at the end of this season, Hamilton was briefly linked with a big-money move to Ferrari in May but recently signalled his intention to remain with Mercedes, the team he joined from McLaren a decade ago, for 2024 and beyond.
Despite indicating the deal was days away from completion in Canada last month, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff provided an update on negotiations at last weekend’s Austrian GP by revealing that finer details remain unresolved with the terms of the deal already in place.
Wolff, who came in for criticism after issuing a blunt team radio message to his driver at the Red Bull Ring, added that an announcement will not be timed to coincide with Hamilton’s home race at Silverstone this weekend.
Speaking alongside Domenicali after leading members of the F1 community visited 10 Downing Street on Tuesday, Wolff outlined his admiration for Hamilton and his lasting importance to the sport’s appeal.
He told Sky Sports: “Lewis Hamilton is clearly the most important personality in our sport. He’s so multi-dimensional
“He’s not only a racing driver and World Champion but he’s trailblazing for diversity, for sustainability. There is no limit for Lewis Hamilton as a racing driver, as an entrepreneur, as a politician.
“I think he’s one of the most spectacular personalities and characters that I have ever met.”
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Asked if he is keen to see Hamilton sign with Mercedes for a few more years, Domenicali had a pointed message for Wolff’s underperforming team.
“I would say more short term,” he said. “I would love to see Lewis still fight on the track but I agree with Toto that he’s an incredible personality.
“He has raised up the bar of interest on a lot of topics, but for the short term I would say, Toto: make sure that he’s running with a good F1 car.”
Wolff gladly accepted the challenge, responding: “We owe him an eighth Championship.”