Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff have been tipped to go their separate ways at the end of the season – with the Mercedes team principal potentially joining Aston Martin.
That’s the view of former F1 and now IndyCar racer Max Chilton, who believes the lure of trying to win eight World Championships will be enough to keep Hamilton at Mercedes for one more year even though he has yet to sign an extended contract.
But the 29-year-old from Surrey thinks Wolff, who has publicly questioned his own future, may decide to move on – citing his close links with Aston Martin’s biggest shareholder Lawrence Stroll as a reason to enter into a fresh project.
“In short, I can’t see Lewis leaving Mercedes,” Chilton, who drove two F1 seasons for Marussia and finished fourth in the 2017 Indianapolis 500, told GQ magazine.
“Lewis clearly wants a record eighth world title and the best place for that to happen is with Mercedes.
“They have the best car, so why would he want to bring this record-breaking partnership to an end? We have seen this season that the only driver who has put him under pressure is his team-mate Valtteri Bottas, so why give up that advantage?
“What I can see happening is Lewis doing one more year with Mercedes, winning that record-breaking eighth title and then retiring.
“I can’t see him following Fernando Alonso in trying to win the triple crown and competing in Le Mans, Dakar and the Indy 500. I also can’t see him going to Ferrari like so many champions before him.
“What drives Lewis on, race after race, season after season, is an unmatched competitive spirit – and if the car is not performing to his expectations, it could quickly turn into a nightmare.
“You only have to see what has happened to Sebastian Vettel to see why a change may not be a good thing. Retire at the top, retire as the greatest. That is what I hope he does.
“Toto Wolff, however, is a different story. I can see him leaving Mercedes. He has done an unbelievable job with the team, but I wonder if he wants a new challenge.
“He has so many ties with Aston Martin and Lawrence Stroll that a move could well be on the cards sooner rather than later.”