There is not an iota of a doubt that Mercedes are a well-oiled outfit with an eye on the future. But a major talking point has been about Lewis Hamilton’s place on the team for the foreseeable future.
The 6-time World Champion is on course for a 7th Drivers’ title this season. And if Valtteri Bottas does not manage to outscore Hamilton by 8 or more points at the Turkish GP, the Briton will be declared the champion.
Perhaps both Mercedes and Hamilton are waiting for that to happen first. After all, conducting contract discussions in a relaxed manner, having already attained the targets, is always beneficial.
At 35, Hamilton is not growing any younger and obviously has other priorities and goals in life. But Team Principal Toto Wolff thinks the relationship is two-way street, with both parties resolute on sealing a new deal at the earliest.
Speaking in an interview, Wolff stated, “No, not at all cornered. It’s a good dependence on each other; we would like him in the car, and I think he wants to drive the Mercedes because it’s competitive. So no, I think there is a good balance.”
The Briton would undoubtedly hold the aces in contract negotiations, considering he is the most successful driver on the grid. However, Mercedes are currently on a good roll which allows Hamilton to create further history with the team.
“Yeah, I don’t want to drop a date here because if I do everybody’s going to ask at every single race, but this is what we agreed. I think it was important to make sure we had both titles secured and then have a more relaxed approach to the discussion about the future.”
Coming into the weekend, the objective was simple for Lewis Hamilton. Winning the race would mean confirm the end of the title race, and yet another championship for the Mercedes no.44.
But following a disastrous qualifying performance from both Mercedes men, the equation would take a different meaning. Nevertheless, Hamilton will have many championship points to take home the title, even if he fails today.
When that is indeed sealed, Mercedes will have some time before winter testing to sit down with Hamilton. And fans of the racing icon will only hope that he stays on for the next few seasons.