Hamilton contract 'a matter of time' - Wolff

Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes contract expires at the end of 2018, but the team are confident a renewal will be agreed.

Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff   -  Getty Images

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says it is "just a matter of time" until Lewis Hamilton pens a new deal with the Formula One constructors' champions.

Hamilton's current deal with Mercedes expires at the end of the 2018 season.

But Wolff is certain the four-time world champion will be with the Silver Arrows for 2019 and beyond.

"Lewis has become such an important pillar within the team that it is a no-brainer that we continue with each other," Wolff said.

"The discussions are on-going in a very positive mindset, and it's just a matter of time when we seal it and put a signature to the document."

On the mood in the team, Wolff added: "The mood is good, it's especially good because today we will be firing up the car for the first time.

"What has been designed is coming together, and is coming alive.

"It never goes seamlessly or smoothly because you're trying to push the boundaries, making the car as light as possible and as quick as possible.

"We've had a good winter, I would say, no real drama - but there is always stress at this time of year."

Wolff said of the team's long-term ambitions: "We are keeping our eyes open to identify the next Lewis Hamilton - four, five, six, seven years [from now] for when Lewis eventually decides he's had enough of F1."

"We are approaching this with a completely open mindset, we are even looking at karting, we are supporting a young Italian boy who is barely 12 years old, and we enjoy doing that.

"It's about identifying the talent, no matter where they are in the world."

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