Wolff says Mercedes in a 'happy place' with Hamilton on post-2023 talks
Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has expressed his satisfaction with his current driver line-up of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell – while adding that the Silver Arrows were in a “happy place” regarding Hamilton’s future beyond the end of next season.
Hamilton has helped Mercedes win a record eight consecutive constructors’ championships between 2014 and 2021, taking six drivers’ titles himself in the same time to add to his one from 2008 – while he missed out on record eighth in the final race of 2021.
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This season may not have begun in the same dominant fashion, with Hamilton sitting sixth in the standings currently. But asked at the Canadian Grand Prix whether he felt his driver would be continuing beyond the end of next season – with Hamilton’s contract expiring at the end of 2023 – Wolff joked: “Are we starting talking 2024 contracts? In June 2022?
“No, we are in a happy place with Lewis and there is no doubt that we are embarking the season and the next one in a good place. But it's too early to discuss 2024. But having said that, I couldn't wish for a better driver pairing.”
After Hamilton took his second podium of the season in Montreal, Wolff added: “I can say that within the team, [Lewis] was always very positive in his mindset. How the two work together is really astonishing; in the briefings they keep asking each other questions. I guess it’s going to be different if you race at the very front.
“But no, it’s super how the two [Hamilton and Russell] have really helped to progress and I’m happy for Lewis because he had the bad luck on his side – he could have been on the podium a few times if the Safety Car hadn’t had worked against him.”
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Looking ahead to Silverstone, Wolff was asked whether Mercedes could uphold their uptick in form and perhaps claim what would be a ninth win at their home circuit since 2013.
“I would hope so, [because] Silverstone was good to us in the past and the circuit is smoother than the last three ones, but it’s not Barcelona – so now we should manage our own expectations and really grind away, look at the data and come up with some sensible solutions, not just for Silverstone but going forward.”