Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wolff Expects Five More Years from Ace Hamilton

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wolff Expects Five More Years from Ace Hamilton

Article excerpt

LEWIS Hamilton may race in Formula One for another five years, his Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has claimed.

Hamilton's PS40million-a-season contract extension, which will rubber-stamp the driver's status as Britain's best-paid sportsman, is due to be announced.

Hamilton has made no secret of harbouring a career outside of F1. He is an ambassador for fashion label Tommy Hilfiger, while he recently emerged as a featured artist on Christina Aguilera's song, 'Pipe', albeit under the mysterious pseudonym of 'XNDA'.

But despite the lure of life away from motor racing, Wolff believes Hamilton, fastest in opening practice for the British Grand Prix on Friday, could remain in the sport until he is 38.

"He is reflecting about how much he loves racing and what happens when he doesn't love it anymore," Wolff said. "When could that be? In my opinion he has another five very good years in him."

Hamilton's next deal - which could be announced in Germany in a fortnight - will see the Briton remain with Mercedes, a team where he has won three of his four world championships, for at least another two years.

The conclusion of Hamilton's next contract is set to coincide with the end of Sebastian Vettel's current deal at Ferrari. It is understood that Hamilton, 33, would be interested in ending his career with the Scuderia, and it is not beyond the realms that he might swap seats with his rival, whom he trails by one point ahead of his home race, for one final hurrah.

But Wolff added: "I am openminded. If in two years we still feel the same about each other, then it would be clear that we will continue."

Hamilton is bidding for a record sixth win at Silverstone, but his oncedominant team have arrived here under a cloud following strategy mistakes this season.

The most recent of which took place in Austria when the Mercedes' pit wall, led by chief strategist James Vowles, failed to react to a Virtual Safety Car period, which resulted in Hamilton dropping from first to fourth. …

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