Lewis Hamilton’s current contract with Mercedes expires at the end of the 2023 season.
Hamilton holds a slew of records, including the most race victories, pole positions, and podium finishes.
The seven-time world champion is tied with Michael Schumacher for the most titles with seven each. With an eight-title run, he would pass Michael Schumacher for the most titles won.
According to Wolff, that will not be Hamilton’s final contract with Mercedes, and it may not even be a short-term deal, based on what Hamilton has told Wolff.
Wolff told Channel 4 that Hamilton has informed him that he believes he can continue in Formula One for another five years.
“We are totally transparent with each other,” said Wolff. “We talk about the future also, and I think it’s very easy. Lewis will be the first one to say ‘I can’t do this anymore because I feel I haven’t got the reactions anymore, or I’ve just lost fun doing it and there is another generation growing up that’s just very strong’.
“So I have no doubt that whatever we agree on a contract extension, which is going to happen, we are both always going to discuss very openly ‘what does the future hold?’
“The advantage is we speak a lot together, he lives here and I’m there [in Monaco]. And just last week, we sat down and he said, “Well, I have another five years in me. How do you see that?’
“I mean, he’s the shining star in Formula 1 on and off track. I think we would lose the greatest personality Formula 1 ever had. “
Former Formula One driver David Coulthard, who conducted the interview, stated prior to Wolff’s revelation that it was difficult for him to imagine Hamilton still competing in Formula One at the age of 40.
Wolff, on the other hand, used Fernando Alonso, who still appears to be at his peak despite being 41, as an example of how reaching 40 does not appear to be a defining moment in the career of a Formula One driver.
“I don’t know if 40 is that age where you say, ‘well, that’s not adequate anymore for a racing driver’,” Wolff stated.
“If you look at where Fernando is at 41 years old, he’s still very much there. Is he now the same Fernando he was at 25? I don’t know, but he’s still very competitive.
“I think Lewis, with the way he leads his life with the full, ultra-narrow focus on his Formula 1 racing—all the others are just hobbies—I think he can take it quite far.”
“We just need to provide them with a car that is capable of doing races and championships,” Wolff stated. “And if we can do that, George can become a World Champion and Lewis can add another title to his seven.”
“It really comes down to us, what a good job we can do as a team.”
While Hamilton’s Formula One future has received a lot of attention, Wolff, who is also the Mercedes team principal, owns a third of the team.
He claims that Mercedes’ current predicament, in which they have not won a race since 2022, means he will be around for at least another few years.
“For me, I’m part of the team, I’m a co-owner,” Wolff said. “And I’m always going to be part of the journey of this Formula 1 team.
“And whether it is in a team function as the principal, CEO or chairman that is only there to give people a hard time when things are not going well, I haven’t decided yet.
“But clearly, we are in a difficult moment. I have to be there for the next few years.”