Toto Wolff compares Lewis Hamilton to Tom Brady amid talk of new Mercedes deal

Hamilton, who is entering his 11th season with Mercedes, only has a contract until the end of 2023

Kieran Jackson
Formula 1 Correspondent
Wednesday 15 February 2023 11:49 GMT
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Toto Wolff insists Mercedes will “find the right time” to renew Lewis Hamilton’s contract as the team’s CEO compared the seven-time world champion to NFL legend Tom Brady.

Hamilton‘s reported £40m-a-year contract with the Silver Arrows expires at the end of the new season, though both parties have expressed their eagerness to extend beyond 2023.

The 38-year-old, who is entering his 11th season with Mercedes, failed to win a race last year - the first winless season of his career - but is optimistic that his team can challenge Red Bull and Ferrari at the front again after a 2022 plagued with issues.

And Wolff was relaxed when asked at the launch of Mercedes’ W14 car at Silverstone about Hamilton’s contract situation.

“We’ve done a few of these contracts in the past and they change little so it’s not usually complex apart from the obvious terms,” Wolff said.

“We’ve had a first chat but I don’t want to commit to any timeline because it’s not important for him and for us – it runs a full year and we’ll find the right time.

“He appears to me in great form, very positive - maybe the best I’ve seen in those 10 years after the winter.

“He knows what he has with the team, we got it wrong last year. The resources and capability is there, but we just need to continue to develop like last season. I don’t think it plays on Lewis’ mind any doubts that the team will perform. We will... eventually!”

Toto Wolff is relaxed about Lewis Hamilton’s contractual situation
Toto Wolff is relaxed about Lewis Hamilton’s contractual situation (Getty Images)

Wolff also referred to seven-time Super Bowl winner Brady - who announced his retirement earlier this month - when questioned about whether Hamilton’s age plays any role in the length of his next deal.

“Lewis’ age at 38 plays no role for this next contract,” Wolff explained.

“If you look at how well top athletes in the world have pushed the boundaries, I’m thinking about Tom Brady who is 45 and he’s on the pitch throwing the ball and being tackled, so the age plays no role.

Wolff also compared Hamilton to seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady
Wolff also compared Hamilton to seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

“In terms of the contractual situation, I think we’ve always found good solutions that reflect the value for the team and for the sport and on the other side, I think Mercedes is the place he wants to be. So these things have never been contentious points and nothing is dragging on. The alignment is great.

“It’s almost not like a first priority sitting down because this is going to be a journey that will continue.”

Mercedes will shakedown their W14 car at Silverstone later today before pre-season testing next week in Bahrain.

The first race of the new season, the Bahrain Grand Prix, takes place at the same circuit on 3-5 March.

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