Mercedes to offer Hamilton new deal


Published: Monday 13th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff is to offer Lewis Hamilton a new contract at the end of the year in a bid to keep him at the team beyond 2015.

Hamilton’s current three-year deal expires after next season, with recent speculation suggesting Fernando Alonso is attempting to engineer his way into Mercedes as a replacement.

Wolff, though, has made it clear he has no intention of looking at any driver other than Hamilton as partner to Nico Rosberg for 2016 and beyond.

Wolff’s remarks come in the wake of Mercedes clinching the first constructors’ title in their illustrious history with a ninth one-two of the season in Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix.

All that remains now is for either Hamilton or Rosberg to wrap up the drivers’ crown, with the former 17 points clear following a ninth win of the campaign.

Addressing the future, and the possibility of recruiting Alonso, Wolff said: “We have a contract with both our drivers for 2015, and we want to continue with the current line-up.

“That is because these two boys are part of the success of the team, they know each other so well and they respect each other.

“The moment you get somebody else in that fight could be detrimental to the team’s performance.

“So our main priority is to continue with Lewis and Nico beyond 2015.”

Out of respect to Hamilton, Wolff has insisted talks that tentatively began earlier this year will not resume again until the championship battle is resolved, almost certain to be in Abu Dhabi on November 23.

“We have agreed with Lewis we want to concentrate on the championship and leave him alone,” added Wolff.

“We want to give him the same possibilities as Nico, and for him not to get involved in commercial, financial and legal discussions until after Abu Dhabi.

“My commitment to him as well is we’re not going to talk to anybody about any terms or contracts until then.”

Wolff has dismissed suggestions of any pressure being applied from the board of parent company Daimler and head man Dieter Zetsche to resolve matters.

“One of the reasons why this team has progressed forward is that as Mercedes-Benz we have this huge mothership in the background helping us,” explained Wolff.

“But also they leave us to do our business and take the decisions we believe are the right ones for this tiny entity (the team).

“We can ask for their opinions when we think it is important, and of course Dieter Zetsche and the board are part of big decision making, but there has been no such pressure.”

Published: Monday 13th October 2014 by The News Editor

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