Both Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton agree that the seven-time world champion should be in Formula 1 for “years” to come.
The pair are still locked in protracted negotiations over Hamilton’s 2024 contract, but Mercedes boss Wolff denies that they are still at loggerheads over the duration of a new deal or the money involved.
And Wolff thinks Hamilton, 38, is still good enough to at least match the longevity of the almost-42-year-old Fernando Alonso, who remains in top form.
“You can see with Alonso that I think Lewis has at least four more years in him,” Wolff said at Silverstone.
Hamilton agreed: “Yes, Toto said everything correctly. I feel like I still have at least five more years in me, so we’ll see.”
When Wolff was asked about Hamilton’s prediction, he added: “So it’s not far from what Lewis said.
“And I can say that without a doubt that he can do and, obviously, with Mercedes.
“In this day and age, high-performing athletes have found ways to prolong their careers by leading disciplined lives and doing the right thing,” Wolff said.
Hamilton also denies that his complaints on the radio in Austria, which were publicly rebuked by Wolff, indicates that a rift now exists between the pair.
“The best thing about our partnership is that we can be direct with each other,” said the British driver.
“Toto is just an out-and-out racer, so he was just trying to encourage me. That was his way of doing it and we always learn from our experiences.”
However, Hamilton also earned a rebuke from one of his former bosses, ex-Mercedes engine boss Norbert Haug, for suggesting that Red Bull should be banned from starting work on their 2024 car until August.
“In my view, if there’s one driver in the current field who shouldn’t demand something like this is Lewis Hamilton,” Haug told the German portal Sportbuzzer.
“Anyone who blew away all opponents year in, year out, also thanks to a superior engine and car and the best team performance according to all the rules of the art, should not start such an inappropriate discussion,” he added.
He said the best football analogy to describe Hamilton’s outburst was that the record-holding winner of 103 grands prix had scored a “classic own goal”.
“It doesn’t need to be checked by video either,” Haug laughed.