Toto Wolff reacts to claim he wants to replace Lewis Hamilton

Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have managed 11 podiums between them so far this year.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has shut down any suggestions that he is looking to move Sir Lewis Hamilton on at the end of this season.

The seven-time champion recently conceded in an interview with Vanity Fair, for whom he is their September cover star, that he considered his future at the end of last season.

The seven-time champion looked certain to add an eighth to his tally last year and break his tie with Michael Schumacher on seven titles, but then race director Michael Masi blew his battle with Max Verstappen wide open again.

The Australian allowed a limited number of lapped runners to pass the Safety Car late on, leaving Verstappen, who was on fresh tyres, to pass Hamilton on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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It was a dramatic and controversial end to the season, and Masi has since been removed as race director.

Wolff has since made “peace” with the fact that the Dutchman was crowned champion as, although the ending was controversial, Verstappen had done nothing wrong except take advantage of the circumstances.

Following almost two months away from the public eye, Hamilton returned to assure fans that he was not going anywhere, and he was returning to compete for another championship.

However, things have not turned out that way for the Silver Arrows, who have struggled with an erratic W13 since the turn of the new technical regulations.

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Their deficit to Red Bull and Ferrari in the early part of the year led to fresh concerns that Hamilton might be ready to walk away, but the 37-year-old has never shown any indication this season that he wants to turn his back on the pinnacle of motorsport.

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Wolff is also vehement in his affirmation that he is not looking elsewhere, as Mercedes are committed to Hamilton, and vice versa.

“I’ve not been in touch with any other driver,” he told Autosport. 

“Lewis and I, even if the season would have gone wrong, we would have at least under the principle of hope, stayed together next year.

“And [for] a couple of months, we’re talking [if] this going to go five or 10 years, so none of that is true. 

“I haven’t been in touch actively or reactively [with anyone] about a drive with us going forward.”

The pace of the 2022 Mercedes challenger has looked much better in recent weeks, with Hamilton and team-mate George Russell picking up seven podiums in the last six races between them.

The German side are yet to win a race this year, but the upwards trajectory of the car’s performance, coupled with the new regulations being introduced at the Belgian Grand Prix, might just change that.