Lewis Hamilton is considering joining Ferrari in 2021 but Toto Wolff is not putting any contingency plans in place. Max Verstappen has been linked with a move to Mercedes but Wolff has played down sounding out the opportunity just yet.
In a little over 12 months Hamilton’s contract will the Silver Arrows will come to an end – and so might his eight-year spell.
After signing for Mercedes from McLaren in 2013 the Brit has taken his world title tally to six.
Hamilton could equal Michael Schumacher’s Drivers’ Championship record next year but his future beyond that point is still up in the air.
If he was to make the blockbuster switch to Ferrari, Red Bull’s Verstappen would surely be top of Wolff’s wanted list.
But the Austrian is keeping his cards close to his chest.
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“I think that the values within the team are that loyalty and integrity are absolutely number one on the list,” the Austria told Motorsport.com
“Understanding Lewis’ position and objectives will be key for any decision that we take.
“So we will not embark on a fishing mission with potential drivers out there before Lewis and us have had this discussion.
“And that hasn’t taken place because we wanted to wrap up the season, and then we’ll see how that goes.
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“And because we’re having a consensual relationship, we need both sides to be happy.”
Hamilton has insisted he will take his time to decide on the next, and potentially final, contract of his F1 career.
And Wolff will not rush his star into any radical decision.
“I don’t think it is particularly damaging not to come to conclusions quickly,” he added.
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“I know that we want to have the strongest possible line-up in 2021 and there’s a full year to go.
“I think the silly season is going to start soon and conversations are going to begin.
“And whether we know our driver line-up in April, July or October is not important.”
Hamilton has long been linked with a move to Ferrari as he has previously claimed he would love to one day race in the famous Italian red.
But never has he been as close to completing a switch.
“I would rate it personally – and I’m leaning myself out of the window here – I would rate it at 75 percent,” Wolff told RaceFans.net.
“I give you [that] number because I think from the rational, everything speaks for continuation of the relationship, from both sides.
“But equally, there is a 25 percent chance that we are not in control of. So we’ll see how the next months pan out.”
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