Wolff wants Hamilton to stay at Mercedes 'forever'


Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says he sees no reason why the Silver Arrows' partnership with Lewis Hamilton can't go on 'forever'.

Wolff was celebrating Hamilton clinching his fifth drivers world championship in Mexico on Sunday. However there is still work to do before Mercedes can rest easy in the constructors standings.

Looking ahead, Wolff said there was no reason why Hamilton couldn't go on to equal or surpass Michael Schumacher's achievement of seven titles.

"As long as we provide a car that is competitive to win championships and he continues to drive like he does, this can be a relationship that goes forever," Wolff suggested.

"This is the best Lewis Hamilton I have seen in the last six years," he told Formula1.com. "He has driven better, he has been better out of the car. Very, very complete.

"It’s the ability of combining talent with hard work, intellect and emotional intelligence,” he added.

“All great champions have all four of them. If one is missing, you can still be a successful racing driver but you are never going to achieve this greatness.

"There is more to come,” Wolff predicted. "The reason he has won the fifth championship is that he concentrates on the job in hand and does not look too far away, because before you win a seventh there is a sixth to win - and we haven't scored a single point for that one."

Hamilton has already signed a two year extension to his contract to keep him at Brackley until the end of 2020.

However with big rules changes coming in the following season, and with Hamilton building a large portfolio of interests outside Formula 1, there's a question as to whether he would want to continue racing beyond that.

And if he does, it's by no means a done deal that he would stick with Mercedes. The allure of becoming a Ferrari F1 driver is unlike any other in motorsport - and reports linking Hamilton to Maranello continue to persist despite frequent denials.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates winning the World Championship with the team

"It has been a long journey with them," Hamilton said of his time at Mercedes. "I have been in this team for six years now. From day one, the day that I decided to join this team, I truly believed that something great was possible. Look what we have achieved together.

"At the moment, it's very very difficult to imagine, envisage myself anywhere else," Hamilton insisted in Mexico. "This is my family, this is where I grew up.

"But I said the same thing when I was at McLaren," he admitted.

"I think one of the reasons I wanted to move was to go somewhere else and see if you could do something special somewhere else. I knew I could, but I needed to prove it to everyone else."

Would he really want to commit to doing that all over again with a move to Ferrari?

"Right now I don't feel like I need to go and be in another team to win a title in another team," he stated, before teasing: "But you can never say never."

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