Toto Wolff reacts to Lewis Hamilton ‘begging’ for new deal

Lewis Hamilton is expected to sign a multi-year contract extension with Mercedes to keep him in Formula 1 until the end of 2025.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has denied that Lewis Hamilton is ‘begging’ for a new contract with the Silver Arrows, with the Austrian insisting that the seven-time World Champion “will always have a seat with us”.

It had been expected that a new deal would be signed between Hamilton and Mercedes before the start of the new season, with both Wolff and the 38-year-old having revealed last season that a contract extension would be discussed over the winter.

So far, nothing has been agreed on between the duo, with Hamilton having not long gotten back from holiday.

It has been suggested by Auto Motor und Sport that Hamilton is ‘begging’ for a new deal following the impressive season George Russell had last year, where he finished above the 103-time race winner.

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Wolff denies that this is the case, though, with negotiations with Hamilton set to take place like normal.

“I don’t see it that way at all,” Wolff said.

“I said very early on that Lewis will always have a seat with us. A decision is always discussed between us and Lewis would be the first to say if he’s not enjoying it anymore or thinks he has deficits.

“In this respect, we want to continue and we will certainly negotiate as in previous years. I don’t see any indication that we need to change anything.”

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Whilst Wolff doesn’t see any need to change the team’s driver line-up, the side must make improvements to their car ahead of the new season.

It would be a catastrophe for the Germans if they experience the same issues in 2023 that they experienced in 2022, with the Brackley-based team having slumped to third in the Constructors’ Championship.

Mercedes have a lot of ground to make up on Red Bull ahead of the new season, with it being the second year of the new aerodynamic regulations.

Wolff believes the team missed out on having someone like Adrian Newey last season, with Red Bull’s chief technical officer having had experience of the previous ground effect era.

“It was definitely a factor for Red Bull to have someone from the ground effect era on their team,” he said.

“It’s definitely something we underestimated.

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“But I still believe that our aerodynamics department is outstanding. So perhaps this development that we have gone through is something positive for us in the long term.

“Our simulations say that we should have gotten to the bottom of our difficulties,” Wolff told Speed Week

“But that was also the case last year, and then the car didn’t go well. We will start testing in Bahrain at the end of February and only then will we see if we have solved the problems.”