Mercedes has started contract extension talks with seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton and age will not be a factor in the negotiations, team boss Toto Wolff said on Wednesday.
Hamilton, winner of a record 103 grands prix, turned 38 in January and will be starting his 11th season at Mercedes in March.
Wolff told reporters after the launch of the team’s new W14 car at Silverstone that he and Hamilton, whose current contract expires at the end of 2023, were in no hurry to get anything signed.
“We’ve had a first chat but I don’t want to commit to any timeline because it’s not important for him nor for us... it runs a full year and we’re going to find the right time,” said the Austrian.
Wolff batted away a question about age and duration, with Hamilton the second oldest driver on the starting grid after Aston Martin’s 41-year-old double champion Fernando Alonso.
“I think the age, 38, plays no role for this next contract if you look at how well top athletes in the world have pushed the boundaries,” he said, referencing NFL quarterback Tom Brady who recently retired at 45.
Wolff said previous contract negotiations had not been complex apart from the obvious terms.
“In terms of the contractual situation, we’ve always found good solutions that reflect his value for the team and for the sport and on the other side I think Mercedes is the place he wants to be.
“These things have never been a contentious point. Nothing’s dragging on, The alignment is great... it’s almost not like a first priority sitting down because this is going to be a journey that will continue.”
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