With a little over a month to go for the F1 season to start, Mercedes have finally announced that Lewis Hamilton will continue to drive for the them for another year. It is highly unusual for a Formula 1 team to confirm their driver this close to a season’s beginning. Thus, Toto Wolff assured they will begin the next set of talks much earlier. The pair struck a one-year deal and decided to discuss the possibility of another year at the end of 2021. A lot could change between now and then, Mercedes and Hamilton could have a whole new negotiation talk. Wolff explained they will try to find some time during the season and finish the talks much earlier than this time around. Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates after qualifying in pole position Pool via REUTERS/Jose Sena Goulao“We agreed jointly that we didn’t want to drag it on as long as we did this time around and we’re trying to find some time together during the season,” said Toto Wolff. Mercedes have learned their lesson, claims Wolff The contract talks for 2021 were initially delayed because both Hamilton and the Brackley team wanted to focus on the title. However, towards the end of the season, the Briton contracted coronavirus, postponing the talks once again. Moreover, the pandemic made the meetings a little more challenging. Thus, Toto Wolff clarified everyone has learned their lesson this time around. Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – November 15, 2020 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium with team principle Toto Wolff after winning the race and the world championship Pool via REUTERS/Murad Sezer“It’s always tricky to find some time while racing but we have learned the lesson that there could be external factors that can delay discussions and we don’t want to end up in January again, so probably we are going to pick up talking about 2022 much earlier,” he said. The Austrian has clarified that, owing to the team’s values of loyalty and integrity, Mercedes will first approach Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at the end of this season, before going to other potential drivers for the 2022 season. Do you believe the Briton and Bottas will move forward with another season, or will this be Hamilton’s last chance at the all-important eighth title?
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