Wolff: No teammate discussions with Hamilton in contract talks

wolff bottas hamilton

Toto Wolff has insisted that discussions over driver line-up have not been part of the ongoing contract negotiations between Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes.

Hamilton confirmed on Thursday that he had started talks with the team over remaining beyond the end of this season, with the seven-time world champion having signed a one-year deal before the start of the 2021 campaign.

Asked about the progress of the talks after FP1 for the Styrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, Wolff did not give much away, but said that no issues had yet arisen.

“Pretty laid back because it’s going well,” he told Sky Sports F1. “We are discussing and there are no stumbling blocks.

“An agreement is something that takes a few days longer. So good talks.”

While speaking earlier this week, Hamilton offered support for teammate Valtteri Bottas, a driver who many have speculated could be replaced by George Russell in the off-season.

The 36-year-old said that he did not see a reason why Bottas should be replaced, but Wolff said who would partner Hamilton in 2022 was not a part of their talks.

“We have never discussed preferences or not about line-ups,” he added.

“That is never something that is part of his thinking.”

Asked whether the team would want to have an all-British line-up of Hamilton and Russell, Wolff replied: “Nationality has never played a role. We are an international company, we are global, and you want to choose the best drivers.”