Toto Wolff extends Mercedes deal and believes Hamilton can reclaim F1 title

The Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, has ended speculation about his future by confirming he has agreed a new contract to remain in charge of the team for a further three years. The Austrian has also reiterated his belief that Lewis Hamilton can still take a record eighth world championship during that period.

The 52-year-old joined Mercedes in 2013, the same year as Hamilton, and the pair went on to enjoy enormous success. Mercedes took eight consecutive constructors’ championships between 2014 and 2021 and Hamilton six drivers’ titles. Wolff is now a co-owner of the team, with a one-third share holding along with Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos group and Mercedes.

The team have struggled with an uncompetitive car for the past two seasons, soundly beaten by Max Verstappen and the dominant Red Bull. Wolff, however, said his motivation to return to the front is stronger than ever as he committed to remain as team principal for three more seasons, including the next major regulation change in 2026.

“I feel good. The risk for me is always more bore-out than burnout,” he said. “That’s why I embrace the challenges we have today, even though they sometimes feel very, very difficult to manage.

“As a shareholder, I want the best return on investment and the best return on investment is winning. I’m not going to try to hang on to a position that I think somebody is going to do better than me. I make sure that I have people around who can tell me otherwise. In the end the three of us decided: ‘Let’s do it again’.”

Hamilton, who is now 39, has not won a race since the end of 2021, the longest run in his career. But Wolff is confident his driver is still at the top of his game as they approach the new season, which is set to begin in Bahrain on 2 March, and that Mercedes were capable of bridging the gap to Red Bull. “If we are able to give him a car that he actually feels, that drives in a way that he can trust, he will be on the level that’s needed to win the championship – 39 is no age,” he said.

Gideon Canice

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