Toto Wolff to give Lewis Hamilton’s contract negotiations “a little nudge”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says leaving 2021 Lewis Hamilton’s contract negotiations until the Christmas holidays was “definitely taking it too far”.

Lewis Hamilton’s contract extension with Mercedes for 2021 wasn’t signed until the last minute and Toto Wolff doesn’t want to repeat that experience.

Ahead of the Portuguese Grand Prix Hamilton indicated that he intends to be on the grid in 2022, and Wolff has no doubt that the champ will remain with Mercedes.

“We have talked about it before and it’s good to see it out in public,” said the Austrian.

“Like I’ve always said, there’s no reason why the marriage shouldn’t continue. We learned our lesson [with the last contract] that we wouldn’t leave it until the Christmas holidays.

“That was definitely taking it too far. I think we are in a very good place and our relationship is growing stronger every year.

“It’s about time to give it a little nudge and start to speak and this is what we are going to do soon.”

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While Wolff is keen on keeping Hamilton in the team, it’s still not clear who his 2022 team-mate will be. The most obvious candidates are, of course, Valtteri Bottas, or Mercedes junior driver George Russell, who is waiting for his chance to step into a Mercedes on a full-time basis.

“I hope one day that I wake up and it becomes clear,” Wolff explained.

“I think we need to look into the season and how the next races unfold and then it is a judgement call I believe.

“Not a very scientific response but I haven’t got any at the moment.”

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