Lewis Hamilton's Contract a Priority for Mercedes

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said the priority of the team is to continue with Lewis Hamilton and with Nico Rosberg beyond 2015.

Updated: October 31, 2014 14:43 IST
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Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning Russian Grand Prix.
Hamilton's current contract expires at the end of 2015 season.


Austin: Mercedes will not consider talking to any other driver while it is sorting out a new contract for world championship leader Lewis Hamilton, team boss Toto Wolff said on Thursday.

Wolff made this clear ahead of the United States Grand Prix where the 29-year-old British driver hopes to reel off a fifth consecutive win and his 10th of the season on his way to a second drivers' title.

"We have a contract with both our drivers for 2015 and we want to continue with the current line-up because these two boys are part of the success of the team," Wolff said.

"They have known each other so well and they respect each other. The moment you get somebody else in that fight, it could be detrimental to the team's performance.

"Therefore our main priority is to continue with Lewis and with Nico [Rosberg] beyond 2015."

Hamilton and Rosberg have raced together since they were teenagers in karting and this year have delivered a furious and sometimes acrimonious scrap for the championship.

The team has also said it has put all talks about contracts for the future on hold until the end of this season. Hamilton's current contract ends in 2015.

Despite the emergence on the drivers' market for 2016 of two-time champion Fernando Alonso, who is expected to leave Ferrari, Wolff said he was sticking to a promise he made to Hamilton to leave talks until the title race is over.

"We have agreed with Lewis that we want to concentrate on the championship and give him the exact same possibility [as Rosberg]," he said.

"We do not want to get involved in some commercial, financial, or legal discussions until Abu Dhabi, and my commitment is we are not going to talk with anybody about any terms or contracts until then."

Wolff also dismissed reports that he was under pressure to take Alonso in a move that would keep the highly-rated 'box office' racer in the sport.

"There is no such pressure," he said.

"I think one of the reasons why this team has progressed forward is that we are Mercedes-Benz and we have this huge mother ship in the back ground helping us.

"They are also leaving us to the do the business and take the decisions that are the right ones for this tiny little entity, this tiny little unit for Mercedes."

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