Toto Wolff makes bold Lewis Hamilton prediction after signing new Mercedes contract

Mercedes will have Toto Wolff in charge at least until the 2026 F1 season


Toto Wolff has insisted Lewis Hamilton can challenge for a record-breaking eighth Formula 1 world championship in 2024 after the Mercedes supremo confidently predicted their car will deliver better performance this season.

Hamilton, who turned 39 in January, ended speculation over his future by penning a two-year contract to confirm his place alongside team-mate George Russell as the team’s driver pairing until 2025.

The Briton has won seven world titles during his illustrious career, equalling Michael Schumacher’s record with his 2020 title triumph whilst driving for the Silver Arrows. But he has failed to win a single race since the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix in 2021, and lost out in his title showdown with Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi in controversial circumstances only weeks later.

Hamilton’s struggles have coincided with Mercedes‘ worst period in the sport since 2012, having won only one race out of the last 44. And Wolff admits that the team were arguably not ambitious enough in assembling their last two cars – something he hinted they will rectify with their new model.

“I think the regulations, how they were laid out a few years ago, we interpreted them in a very conservative way,” Wolff told The Daily Telegraph. “And we’ve seen other teams doing it differently. So watch this space. I think it’s going to be very different.”

Lewis Hamilton on track in free practice ahead of the 2023 Abu Dhabi GP | LAT Images / Mercedes F1 Team

Wolff backs Hamilton title charge

When asked if Hamilton has a chance of competing for the title after watching Verstappen claim a hat-trick with the most dominant season ever recorded in Formula 1, the 52-year-old made it clear in no uncertain terms that he still backs Hamilton to break the elusive record.

“The answer is clearly yes in capital letters,” Wolff replied, when asked about Hamilton’s chances. “There is a reason Lewis is a seven-time world champion, and has broken all the records… his ability is on a different level.

“If we are able to give him a car that he actually feels, that drives in a way that he can trust, he will be on the level that’s needed to win the championship. 39 is no age.”

Like Hamilton, the Austrian boss has signed a new contract to continue his stint as CEO and team principal, following talks with the team’s other co-owners, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Ola Kallenius.

The deal takes Wolff to the end of the 2026 season, and he is confident he is still the right man to lead Mercedes despite their recent decline.

“At the end of the day, as a shareholder myself, I want the best return on investment. And the best return on investment is winning,” the Mercedes chief added.

“I’m not going to try to hang on to a position that I think somebody is going to do better than me. I make sure that I have people around who can tell me otherwise. In the end the three of us decided: ‘Let’s do it again’.”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
- Advertisment -


Carlos Sainz during practice for the 2024 Spanish GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Carlos Sainz hits out at Lewis Hamilton over unpunished Spanish GP move

Carlos Sainz believes Lewis Hamilton should've been given a penalty for his overtaking move that forced the Ferrari driver...
Max Verstappen during 2024 Spanish GP Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen warning to Red Bull and demands improvement

Max Verstappen demands Red Bull improvement as another tough race saw the reigning world champion have to really work...
Start of the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

LIVE F1 Spanish Grand Prix 2024 – Reaction as McLaren mistakes costly as Verstappen...

Welcome to Total-Motorsport’s F1 live coverage of the Spanish GP 2024. Held at the iconic Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, today’s race...
Lewis Hamilton during 2024 Spanish GP weekend | Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton brushes off furious Sainz after Spanish GP incident

Lewis Hamilton risked angering Carlos Sainz after claiming the Ferrari driver "left the door open" to overtake him during...
Lando Norris of McLaren after the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Lando Norris: McLaren easily had the best car at Spanish GP

Lando Norris believes Spanish GP victory should have been his as McLaren had the best car in Barcelona, but...
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Christian Horner warns of Norris danger to Verstappen after Spanish GP battle

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner warned that Lando Norris and McLaren are their strongest competitors following a nail-biting...
McLaren team principal Andrea Stella at the 2023 Belgian GP | McLaren F1 team

McLaren chief pinpoints where 2024 Spanish GP was lost

McLaren's team boss they lost the 2024 Spanish GP by Turn 1 as a poor start saw Lando Norris...
Max Verstappen, Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton on the podium after the 2024 Spanish GP | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Standings after 2024 Spanish Grand Prix

Max Verstappen showcased his racing prowess at the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix, clinching his seventh victory of the Formula...
Lando Norris during the 2024 Spanish GP weekend | McLaren

F1 Fastest Lap: Spanish GP 2024

The Spanish GP Fastest Lap award is given to the driver who posts the quickest time over one timed...
Lando Norris during the 2024 Spanish GP weekend | McLaren

F1 2024 Spanish GP: Driver of the Day

Lando Norris was crowned 2024 Spanish GP Driver of the Day, but couldn't land the biggest prize of all...
- Advertisment -