Lewis Hamilton could stay in F1 for another five years, according to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, and he is convinced the British driver will win an eighth world title with the team before announcing his retirement.
Hamilton signed a two-year extension earlier this season and has repeatedly said his desire to stay in F1 is stronger than ever.
The Mercedes driver was controversially denied a world title on the last lap of last season, but Wolff is convinced he will get another chance to surpass Michael Schumacher’s record of seven career victories.
“I’m absolutely confident that Lewis can win an eighth world title with us,” Wolff told the Press Association.
“He is not going anywhere and if we can provide a competitive car and he can fight for wins, he will win more titles. For him, retirement is still a long way off. Am I still happy with my performance?” And as soon as he comes to the conclusion that this is not so, he will be the first to say that this is so.
Wolf said he sees Hamilton, now 37, who has dedicated himself to Formula One well into his 40s.
“I have no doubt that we will extend [beyond 2023]. Today’s science can force athletes, if they are disciplined, to practice much longer than before. Look at Fernando Alonso. He’s 41 years old and still mega, so there’s no doubt that Lewis has many more years to come.”
Earlier that year, as Hamilton struggled to handle the temperamental 2022 Mercedes car, he tweeted: “While working on my masterpiece, I will be the one to decide when it is finished.”
In another Channel 4 interview that aired during the Singapore Grand Prix weekend, Wolf said that Hamilton had long expressed a desire to dedicate himself to Mercedes and F1.
“The advantage is that we talk a lot together,” Wolf said. “Just last week we sat down and he said, ‘Look, I’ve got five more years, how do you see that?’
“Over time, we just grew together. We are completely open with each other. Lewis will be the first to say “I can’t do this anymore” because I feel like I don’t have a reaction anymore, or I just lost the fun doing it and now there’s another generation coming up that’s just really strong.
“So I have no doubt that no matter what we agree on a contract extension, what happens, we will both always be very open about what the future holds for us.”