Toto Wolff is confident that the new deal that Lewis Hamilton has just signed won’t be his last contract in Formula 1.
Speculation about the Mercedes driver’s future was recently brought to an end with it announced that he had signed a new deal which ensured he’d stay with the team until the end of the 2023 campaign.
By that time, he’ll be about to turn 39 and has stated in the past that he doesn’t see himself on the grid at 40, and many feel that this will be his final contract as an F1 driver and that he’ll retire once it has expired.
However, Wolff doesn’t think that will be the case and is very confident about it.
“I’m pretty sure it’s not his last contract,” the team principal told Formula 1 broadcasting in Austria.
“I think he always flirts with the thought that this may be the last contract and in a way, it keeps the options open for the last.
“But no, it’s not going to be his last.”
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) July 3, 2021
Hamilton’s new contract was announced less than half a year after the deal for him to stay at the team for the 2021 season was agreed and signed.
Throughout 2020, both parties reiterated that the plan was for the seven-time World Champion to remain with Mercedes, but they didn’t feel the need to sit down and discuss a deal until once the season was completed.
Wolff says waiting so long to complete that deal was a mistake, and that they didn’t want to repeat it this time around, instead sorting things quickly.
“It was very easy,” the Austrian told Sky F1.
“We didn’t want to make the mistake that we did last time, when we dragged it on over the whole year simply because we were busy racing.
“This time we thought it’s a more difficult championship and we want to have stability in the team. Lewis and I were pretty clear early on that this would be continued.”
Tom Clarkson feels one of the reasons behind Hamilton’s new contract is that he knows within himself that he’s now unlikely to win the 2021 World Championship given the strength of Red Bull and Max Verstappen, who he currently trails by 32 points.