New Hamilton deal with Mercedes would be best outcome, says Wolff
BERLIN – Mercedes Formula One team chief Toto Wolff believes a new contract with world champion Lewis Hamilton is "an obvious mutual outcome" but talks on a deal have yet to begin.
Hamilton's current contract runs to the end of the 2020 season and Wolff made it clear at a media event in London on Monday he thought the 35-year-old six-time world champion should pledge his future with the team.
"We would like to have the fastest man in the car and I know Lewis wants to be in the fastest car, so there is an obvious mutual outcome," he said.
Wolff, however, has not talked to the British driver since the end of the year, and it has been agreed to continue with talks after the season begins in Australia on March 13.
"We travel around the world 10 months every year but over the winter we leave each other in peace and the last conversation I had with him was at the Christmas party," Wolff said.
Hamilton teams up again with Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas, with the team aiming for a seventh straight constructors' title. Hamilton has won five drivers' titles with Mercedes, in 2014, 2015 and for the last three seasons, after winning his first in 2008 with McLaren.
Mercedes presented the new livery for the 2020 season - adding a dash of red to go with the team's traditional silver - and a new five-year sponsorship with the chemicals multinational INEOS, which also backs British sailing and cycling teams.
The new car - F1 W11 EQ Power+ - will be officially presented on Friday.dpa