Mercedes AMG F1 boss Toto Wolff believes the formidable association between the German outfit and Lewis Hamilton will extend beyond the current season.
Wolff and Hamilton have yet to initiate contract talks for the future, with both parties agreeing to spend the winter break unbothered by negotiations.
Ferrari chief executive Louis Camilleri admitted last year to an informal meeting with Hamilton, but few believe the six-time world champion will undertake a move to the House of Maranello in the final stage of his career.
For now, all signs point to a prolongation of the mutually beneficial Mercedes/Hamilton alliance which could be renewed at a cost for the German manufacturer well above the Briton’s current £40 million annual retainer!
“I think it is an obvious pairing going forward,” Wolff said on Monday during a Mercedes media event with sponsor INEOS.
“We would like to have the fastest man in the car and I know that Lewis wants to be in the fastest car, so there is obvious mutual outcome.
“We travel around the world for almost 10 months of the year and we get on each other’s nerves almost every second weekend, and what we do over the winter is leave each other in peace.
“The last conversation I had with him was on the evening of the Christmas party and we had a nice chat. We will start our discussion when he gets back from America and we kick off the season.
“I have great belief in the ability of this team to attract the best drivers, and Lewis proved that he is the best driver with his six titles.
“In both the medium- and long-term, I would hope that we are able to continue to provide technology to the best drivers and attract them.”
Wolff was queried on his own future with Mercedes, having been the subject last year of rumors that positioned him as a successor to Chase Carey at the head of F1, hearsay which the Austrian quickly dismissed.
“My role is different to all the other team principals,” Wolff explained.
“I am a partner in the team, I’m a managing partner in the team. We have a joint venture with Daimler and honestly, I have to pinch myself every day to have the opportunity to be in that situation. So, it’s very different.
“But we are planning our long-term strategy together with Daimler, and Jim [Ratcliffe – INEOS CEO] and his partners coming in is yet another building block; so all sails are set for a successful future.”