Mercedes Entering the ‘Hot Phase’ in Lewis Hamilton F1 Contract Talks: Toto Wolff
Mercedes are clearly all over the place at the moment. After finishing second best to Red Bull at the Styrian Grand Prix, their title defence seems to be fading already.
However, they made a significant step in their preparations for a highly challenging 2022 season. With their driver lineup for next season continuing to draw attention, Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff gave an encouraging update on Lewis Hamilton’s contract extension.
Toto Wolff admits contract talks with Hamilton are in advanced stages
The Silver Arrows face several challenges currently. Although they seem far off Red Bull’s pace after just eight races this season, they also need to prepare for 2022. Besides the new technical regulations next season, they also need to confirm their driver lineup with both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas running out of contract at the end of this season.
However, Mercedes seem close to confirming Hamilton as their driver for next season. After the Styrian Grand Prix, CEO Toto Wolff admitted talks between the two parties are in advanced stages. He said, “If I were to say that the contract has already been signed, that would not be correct. But we are beyond the status of exploratory talks.
“Now we are entering the ‘hot phase’. I think we are much closer to an agreement than to a separation.”
These words from Wolff might encourage the Silver Arrows and their fans given their recent struggles. In addition, it gives them much needed clarity to work on other aspects of what looks to be a challenging season for F1 teams.
READ MORE: Lewis Hamilton vs Mercedes: Who Deserves Credit for Their Success in Formula One
Can Lewis Hamilton win his record-breaking eighth title this season?
While his future with Mercedes isn’t official yet, Hamilton’s focus remains the current F1 season. Despite being second best to Max Verstappen this season, the Briton trails the Dutchman by 18 points in the driver’s championship.
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However, the seven-time world champion is no stranger to winning a world title in the last race of the season. Should Mercedes find more pace in the coming races, Hamilton could mount a stiffer challenge to his Dutch rival in the 15 races that remain.
Despite the odds rarely stacked against him, Hamilton might still break the record of seven world championships this season. However, with Red Bull only getting faster, his chances are starting to fade.
WATCH STORY: Lewis Hamilton: Ranking His F1 World Titles From 2008 to 2020
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