Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have extended their partnership for another year, till the end of 2021. The pair took a long time to come out with the announcement, and the F1 community speculated several clauses of the contract and reasons for the delay.
Since the contract’s extension, people have covered every theory possible for why it was just a year-long extension. In a recent interview, Toto Wolff clarified the reason for the duration of the contract.
“The reason was simply a lack of time. We first negotiated just before Christmas. A multi-year contract is more complex than one for one season. So we said we’ll sign this slip for a year now and see later.
“Everything is currently open to both sides after 2021,” said the Mercedes Principal.
The other Mercedes drivers present on the grid are Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Esteban Ocon, and George Russell. Bottas had a run of bad luck last season that saw him fall back considerably in the championship run.
Esteban Ocon is loaned out to Renault and will drive for the Alpine F1 racing team. Meanwhile, Russell is in the last year of his contract with Williams and considered as a primary contender for a Mercedes seat.
However, Wolff clarified, “So there is some variation for 2022, but until then our full support goes to Valtteri and Lewis. We will evaluate in the middle of the year whether there will be a change in 2022. It is surely too early now to talk about scenarios for 2022.”
Toto Wolff has completed the negotiations to put Mercedes at an advantage by the end of the season. The Silver Arrows will have two vacant seats, and they can have their pick of the drivers to go into the new era with.
Who do you think will complete the Mercedes drivers’ lineup for the 2022 season?