Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Imola, 2020

Wolff doubts Hamilton will leave F1 at the end of the year

2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff downplayed the possibility Lewis Hamilton could leave F1 at the end of the season, following comments made by his driver.

After winning today’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix Hamilton indicated he may decide not to continue racing in the 2021 F1 season. “I would like to be here next year but there’s no guarantee of that,” he said. “There’s a lot that excites me of the ‘after-life’.”

However Wolff believes Hamilton will continue for a 15th season in F1 next year. “I guess if he were to decide to step out of Formula 1 – which I don’t think is going to happen and I hope is not going to happen – then I think we are going to have a pretty frantic driver market out there,” he said.

Wolff, who is also considering his options for next year, believes Hamilton made the comments because he is increasingly concerned with what is happening in the world outside F1. “I think it’s the moment, it’s the emotions. We are all happy, but very tired also,” said Wolff.

“And the same for me: I completely relate to his feeling that you question yourself that you think about all the other things that matter and when you switch on the news in the morning and switch them off in the evening, it’s all about the struggles that we all face.

Drivers, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020
2021 F1 drivers and teams
“We are here now in our little happy place where we try to bring some some entertainment into households. But then you’re back in the more difficult reality next day and all of that is something that affects us. And in that respect, it’s normal for somebody who’s empathetic to have these feelings.”

Hamilton has expressed interest in knowing what Wolff’s plans for the future are, he said.

“I think we go together in a way that we have a symbiosis and obviously it’s important where our heart is and mindset is for next year. But I’ve said that this is my team. I am a very proud co-owner with Mercedes, and I’m not going to go anywhere.

“My role may change in the future and it’s something that he has asked and I think nothing is ever secure. Like Niki Lauda in the seventies you could wake up one morning on a Friday or Saturday morning on a track and say ‘I’m just not having fun anymore’. And I think that can happen to anybody.

“But we want to continue this journey. We are not finished. Lewis and I and all the team, which we are not finished.”

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2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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12 comments on “Wolff doubts Hamilton will leave F1 at the end of the year”

  1. Hamilton isn’t going anywhere.

    1. I doubt it too, but then there’s Rosberg. Who would have foreseen that.

  2. Mercedes the best doubt anyone says otherwise

  3. I started buying Mercedes merchandise because I adore Hamilton as a driver and highly respect Toto Wolff. Together they are representing Mercedes team and brand in the best possible way. It would be tragic if one them leave Mercedes next year. I pray they both stay in Mercedes for another year!

  4. Yeah, off course Hamilton isn’t just walking away. He might be teasing the media a bit. Maybe playing hard to get for Mercedes wanting to sign him too.

    Surely if he would want to walk away from the sport he would want to say goodbye in front of a live audience. Altough by then, he would be possibly interested in staying to see how the 2022 cars match up.

    1. Well he was laughing when he said it. And said late in the same interview ‘Of course I want to be here next year.’

  5. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
    1st November 2020, 19:20

    If Hamilton sticks around for one more season, he is 99 percent certain of becoming an 8x world champion.

    So no, he’s not going anywhere. Not until the end of next year, at the earliest.

  6. Aint it funny that all the guys that think Lewis does not deserve it are clearly wrong and Merc who can hire basically anyone still want Hamilton. They aint silly they know if there is a fight like 18 Lewis is a better bet than Valterri. Im sure Alonso would race Merc for free(if Lewis want his teammate) but nope Merc will keep spending big bucks to keep Lewis.

    1. Let me put it this way: hamilton is one of the top 3 drivers on the grid, no way to say he’s better than verstappen or leclerc until they get in the same car, mercedes is the best team on the grid no question.

      Ofc they want hamilton since he’s a complete driver, but he wants them more than they want him, there’s no alternative to win titles atm.

      1. Well said, exactly this.

        What Lewis has accomplished is phenomenal, but there is no way he could have done this in another car.

        And he does deserve it btw.

  7. Toto is off to Ashton Martin

  8. He renewed 2 months ago. So its impossible he doesn’t continue. He failed in his intention to grab media and fans attention. nobody cares

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