It’s that time of the Formula One season when contract rumors begin.
Daniel Ricciardo already confirmed he will stay with McLaren for 2023, and AlphaTauri announced Pierre Gasly will remain with them next season. Lando Norris and Max Verstappen penned their extensions prior to the ’22 campaign beginning while Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez inked their own within the last few months.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said, per Formula1.com, the Silver Arrows are currently “in a happy place with” seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, but that it is “too early to discuss 2024.”
Hamilton hasn’t had as dynamic of a start to this season as he had over the last several years, when he helped guide Mercedes to a record eight consecutive constructors’ championships from 2014 to ’21. His contract is set to expire at the end of the ’23 campaign. When asked about his future, Wolff jokingly said, “Are we starting talking 2024 contracts? In June 2022?
“No, we are in a happy place with Lewis and there is no doubt that we are embarking the season and the next one in a good place. But it’s too early to discuss 2024. But having said that, I couldn’t wish for a better driver pairing.”
Wolff added after Hamilton snagged his second podium of the season, “I can say that within the team, [Lewis] was always very positive in his mindset. How the two [Hamilton and George Russell] work together is really astonishing; in the briefings they keep asking each other questions. I guess it’s going to be different if you race at the very front.
“But no, it’s super how [Hamilton and Russell] have really helped to progress and I’m happy for Lewis because he had the bad luck on his side—he could have been on the podium a few times if the Safety Car hadn’t had worked against him.”
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