Lewis Hamilton F1 contract talks with Mercedes 'going well' with 2022 team-mate not discussed
F1's world champion driver and team making positive progress on a new contract for beyond 2021; Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton never states a preference for a team-mate during talks
Last Updated: 25/06/21 6:31pm
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says there are "no stumbling blocks" in talks with Lewis Hamilton over a new contract for the seven-time world champion beyond this season.
Hamilton revealed on Thursday in Austria that he had started discussions to extend his nine-season stay at F1's world champions, describing early talks with Wolff as "light-hearted".
The Mercedes team principal sounded similarly relaxed about the situation when speaking a day later.
"Pretty laid back because it's going well. We are discussing," Wolff told Sky Sports F1.
"There are no stumbling blocks. An agreement is something that takes a few days longer. So good talks."
While Hamilton appears certain to stay on into 2022 and the first year of F1's new technical era of car rules, Mercedes will have a choice to make about who partners him between Valtteri Bottas, the long-time incumbent, and protege George Russell.
Hamilton has given public backing to Bottas in the past and, on Thursday, described the Finn as a "fantastic team-mate" before adding: "I don't necessarily see that it needs to change."
But Wolff said that it is not in Hamilton's nature during talks with the team to speak about who he thinks should be his team-mate.
"We have never discussed preferences or not about line-ups," said the Mercedes boss.
"That is never something that is part of his thinking."
Meanwhile, asked if having an all-British line-up of Hamilton and Russell would present any marketing problems, Wolff said: "Nationality has never played a role.
"We are an international company, we are global, and you want to choose the best drivers."