Toto Wolff hints at Mercedes exit amid Lewis Hamilton refusing to sign contract

Mercedes has suffered a disappointing start to the 2023 season, as it struggles to find enough pace to challenge Red Bull’s dominance.

Mercedes team principal has revealed when he would step away from the German manufacturer, as the Silver Arrows find themselves failing to fight at the front of the pack.

In the opening races of the season, Mercedes’ W14 has been the third strongest car on the grid, as Red Bull romp to victory and Aston Martin picks up the final podium place.

Wolff has explained that he would quit the team if he felt that his contribution was no longer beneficial to the team.

“I really enjoy being the team leader of this team. I think I can make my contribution,” Wolff said.

READ: Lewis Hamilton admits ‘shock’ as he issues warning to Max Verstappen

“But if one day I come to that conclusion – or if people close to me tell me I’m not contributing – then I’ll consider passing the baton to someone else.”

“I wouldn’t be ashamed of that. Then I would criticise from the sidelines, from a TV screen, and know better than everyone else. But until then I think I’ll keep enjoying it,” he continued.

Wolff’s comments come as another stalwart of the Mercedes team, Lewis Hamilton, weighs his future in the sports.

Having only picked up back-to-back fifth place finishes and voicing his frustration with the new W14, Hamilton is yet to sign a contract extension beyond the end of the 2023 season.

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The seven-time world champion has previously suggested he will remain in the sport until he wins an eighth title but whether he will stick with Mercedes remains to be seen.

READ: George Russell labelled ‘worst aspect’ of Lewis Hamilton’s weekend

Mercedes is currently in 3rd place in the Constructors’ Championship, where it finished in 2022, as Aston Martin has stepped up with a significant performance upgrade from last season and a new driver in the form of Fernando Alonso.

In Bahrain, Hamilton was over 50 seconds behind eventual winner Max Verstappen, while, in Saudi Arabia, the Brit was 31 seconds off race winner Sergio Perez.

The lack of pace from Mercedes appears to be a continuation of the team’s problems from last season, as they still struggle to adapt to the new regulations that were introduced in 2022.