Wolff expecting Hamilton to stay with Mercedes

Published on 03 Jan 2018 12:38

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he expects Lewis Hamilton to remain with the team on a multi-year contract. The Briton's current deal expires at the end of this season, with Mercedes already keen on discussing new terms with the four-time world champion.

Hamilton joined the Silver Arrows in 2013, a time when the move dumbfounded some people who believed it was the wrong choice. However, after wrapping up his third world title for the team, Wolff hopes that Hamilton will continue to race with the German giant,

"I don't think it's going to happen, but you never know," he told the Austrian broadcaster ORF when asked if Hamilton could suddenly quit the sport. "We didn't expect anything like that in 2016, but then came the call from Nico [Rosberg, who unexpectedly retired]."

Bottas "a solid number 2" driver

1997 champion Jacques Villeneuve has given his thoughts on Valtteri Bottas' maiden campaign with Mercedes. The Finn joined at the start of 2017, replacing Rosberg. However, he couldn't find the form to mount a title challenge, leaving Villeneuve to describe his year as "almost embarrassing".

"Mercedes won because they still have the best engine, but only Hamilton was able to take advantage of it. Bottas' performance was almost embarrassing," Villeneuve told Auto Bild. "He is a solid number 2 and no more. I would have chosen Wehrlein."


Fergal Walsh

Replies (9)
GB talktohenry 03 Jan 2018 12:520
Posts: 357
Nobody else can afford him anyway and Ferrari committed to Vettel so he doesn't really have any other options, unless McLaren come back to life...
Posts: 997
He should go to Ferrari, bring back memories like Mansell and Prost in the same team. That would be brilliant. I don't think that the £££ should hold him back.

What would mercedes do than? Other year with Bottas? Mercedes will be planning for this scenario. It would also show how good he really is if anyone was doubting.
Posts: 35
Vettel and Hamilton swap would be interesting.
US ajpennypacker 03 Jan 2018 18:38+1
Posts: 1507
I don't even understand the rumors, what could possibly attract Hamilton to leaven Mercedes. A team that has given him both a high salary (which only Ferrari could match) and freedom (which Ferrari would never ever allow) to spend time off racing with self-promotion and building his so-called brand.
BE krommenaas 03 Jan 2018 21:160
Posts: 155
Maybe he's starting to smell rot at Mercedes, as he did at McLaren in 2012. When he left McLaren for Mercedes, McLaren had just scored 378 points versus Mercedes' 142. Then after his switch Mercedes scored 360 points versus McLaren's 122.
US ajpennypacker 03 Jan 2018 23:53+1
Posts: 1507
@Krommenaas I understand the point but I disagree. Lewis has made it clear that he left because he wanted more freedom, which he'd never have at McLaren under Ron Dennis. I think the performance decline after Lewis left was mostly luck (or bad luck if you're McLaren). It's not like McLaren decreased its budget, or diminished its commitment to F1. They simply produced bad cars for several years. McLaren has also struggled with leadership until recently.
US Rindtchamp 03 Jan 2018 19:260
Posts: 289
of course he'll stay. why would he move elsewhere when the car is the most dominant in F1's history and his teammate is purely there to help win the WCC and is not allowed to challenge Lewis?

Which all the aces, why would he move? ..he'll only move/retire once the car is not competitive, not before.
GB f1fan0101 03 Jan 2018 23:040
Posts: 1316
He'll retire there
Posts: 296
Interesting talk of this number 1 status - I don't believe I have heard that from Wolff? As far as I understand it the scoreboards will be level Melbourne and I don't think there will be decisions are priority until all see a compelling case to do so - like what happened in 2017. Bottas will perform better in 2018 I think, but he dent have the inherent dna to beat Hamilton, Button recently described Hamilton as the fastest F1 driver we have ever seen - I think that's right - and whilst qualifying remains critical to winning the race (too many tracks you cannot overtake on) this won't change whilst Hamilton is top of his game. As for his freedom - then why not ? If this is what gets the best out of hime Mercedes would be daft to impose restrictions around him. My vote - he will sign for Mercedes until 2020 season, leaving possibility of a final hurrah with Ferrari - like Mansell.

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