Daily Mail

Mercedes convinced Hamilton will stay


MERCEDES claim they remain confident of re-signing Lewis Hamilton, despite the curveball of a disastrous Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.

The seven-time world champion’s contract expires at the end of the year and his team hope they can keep him for longer as he strives for an eighth world title. But there are no guarantees given Hamilton finished fifth in Bahrain, 51 seconds behind winner Max Verstappen. Asked if the Silver Arrows have a Plan B if Hamilton decides to move elsewhere — or quit — team principal Toto Wolff said: ‘There is no point talking about the driver situation for 2024. It is far too early. We all have to push in the same direction rather than throwing in the towel. We have never done that and we will not do that now.’ Prior to the race, Hamilton said that only a catastroph­e would prevent him extending his stay with Mercedes. But that was before Wolff announced they would bin this year’s car and search for a solution to being only the fourth-best team, effectivel­y ruling out a title challenge this season. Aston Martin have moved ahead of Mercedes after making significan­t strides this winter, leaving them only behind Red Bull and Ferrari.

Mercedes engineers are meeting Wolff to discuss a way forward this week. Wolff said: ‘We’ve won eight constructo­rs’ titles and six drivers’ titles with Lewis. That relationsh­ip holds. It would be easy to lose a driver. We are not doing that.’

 ?? ?? Is this end of the road for Hamilton? Scan the code for Jonathan McEvoy’s analysis
Is this end of the road for Hamilton? Scan the code for Jonathan McEvoy’s analysis

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