The Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, has said his future with the team remains undecided and the conclusion he reaches may play a part in whether Lewis Hamilton continues competing in Formula One. Hamilton has yet to sign a new contract with Mercedes and has said he would be influenced by Wolff’s decision.
Speaking before the Spanish Grand Prix, Wolff said he was considering various professional and personal factors in discussions with Ola Källenius, the chair of Daimler, Mercedes’ parent company. Wolff joined the team in 2013, the same year as Hamilton, and has since led them to six consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ championship doubles.
“I am in a moment of reflection where F1 is heading to,” he said. “What is happening with Covid and for personal reasons, too. My wife, Susie, is in a good place running a Formula E team but that means she is away a lot. I have been to something like 120 grands prix in the last eight years and it is something we are thinking about.”
Hamilton has won five of his six titles with Mercedes and has become very close to Wolff. He has yet to begin negotiation for a new contract for beyond 2020 and Wolff believes he should continue racing for Mercedes.
“Lewis staying is the best thing he can do and what he wants to do,” said Wolff. “He has the possibility of achieving great success, winning more races and hopefully championships and it is flattering that he says that his future is dependent on what I do. But he doesn’t need me. He has a great team there that will always support him.”
Mercedes were on top in both practice sessions on Friday. Bottas led Hamilton in the morning and in the afternoon Hamilton took the top spot in front of his teammate. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was eight-tenths back in third in FP2. Hamilton leads Verstappen by 30 points in the world championship.