Toto Wolff denies ‘hungry’ Lewis Hamilton will leave Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton's current contract expires at the end of this year; however, an extension is already expected.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has confirmed that Lewis Hamilton’s contract extension remains a “topic that we will tackle over the winter”, with news on the seven-time World Champion’s speculated extension having gone quiet during December.

Despite 2022 being Mercedes’ worst of the hybrid era and Hamilton’s worst of his career, the duo remains very upbeat looking ahead to 2023.

Hamilton expressed several times last season that he has every intent on remaining in the sport beyond 2023, despite having previously stated that he didn’t want to race in Formula 1 into his 40s.

For that to happen, Hamilton will need to compete in the 2025 Championship, as he’ll turn 40 on January 7th, 2025.

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The British driver celebrated his 38th birthday earlier this month; however, he is showing no signs of slowing down just yet.

Reportedly, Hamilton will sign a multi-year contract extension before the season opening race in Bahrain, something which will perhaps see him in F1 until the start of the new engine regulations in 2026.

If Hamilton does stay in F1 until the end of 2025 then he’ll have three more chances to claim an unprecedented eighth World Championship, to ensure that he’s achieved everything in the sport.

What the 103-time Grand Prix winner won’t want, though, is a repeat of 2022, something which could see him walk away from a contract if he hasn’t got a competitive package.

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Wolff has revealed that Hamilton will “absolutely” stay at Mercedes beyond 2023, with there being “no reason not to continue”.

“Well, the job list is pretty long [with] what’s needed to be done!” Wolff told F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast.

“Certainly, Lewis’s contract is one of the topics that we will tackle over the winter, but there is no firm deadline.

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“Absolutely [he’ll stay]. Lewis is part of the team, and the team is part of Lewis. [There’s] no reason not to continue.

“I think one of his strengths is that he’s always hungry, he’s always eager. He’s a great sportsman, but he’s also someone that’s extremely driven and determined.”

If Hamilton’s new contract is a multi-year deal then it’ll likely mean a seat at Mercedes won’t become available until 2025 or 2026, something which might result in the Germans new reserve driver Mick Schumacher switching teams at the end of the upcoming season to get a full-time seat.