Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has spent a significant amount of time in Formula 1. Given his age and his interest in forging a career in the entertainment industry, there has been some talk regarding when he could potentially retire.
Red Bull driver Sergio Perez has been earmarked as a potential candidate to replace the seven-time world champion and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has finally opened up on the subject in somehwat dramatic style.
Toto has insisted that he has never considered the prospect of replacing Hamilton and all rumours surrounding Perez joining the team to pair up with George Russell are untrue.
Speaking to Motorsport.com Italy, Wolff said: “It’s complete b******. I’ve never called Sergio, he’s a good guy and I respect him, but I’ve never talked to him and haven’t been in contact with any other rider.
“Lewis and I, even in the face of a less encouraging scenario like the start of this season, we are always aligned in wanting to try to improve things and in wanting to be together next year.
“And for a couple of months we have been telling each other that we could go on, maybe five or 10 years, right? So none of this is true ”
There was plenty of speculation surrounding the future of Hamilton given how Mercedes provided him with a far from competitive car at the start of the season.
While many felt this would be enough for Hamilton to call it time, the British driver has insisted that he is completely committed to extending his tenure.
Can Hamilton win more titles with Mercedes?
Wolff has now revealed that he has been in talks with Hamilton and both are convinced that he can win more titles with Mercedes.
“Of course, he would have been the only [driver] to hold this record, but I think he can be equally proud of having seven titles like Michael [Schumacher], I think this milestone is also very historic and important,” Wolff said.
“But the goal is to get back to having the right performance soon, and if we return to providing Lewis with a good car, why just think of eight world titles? Why not ten?”
The Austrian’s comments come on the back of rumours that Mercedes was keen on signing Nyck de Vries to replace Hamilton as he would serve as an “insurance policy” given his credentials in Formula E.
Nyck has notably also tried his hand in an F1 car, having taken part in FP1 at the Spanish Grand Prix with Williams and for Mercedes in France.