Toto Wolff addresses Lewis Hamilton retirement speculation and whether Mercedes chief has 'Plan B' | The Sun

TOTO WOLFF has insisted that Mercedes does not have a "Plan B" should Lewis Hamilton leave the Formula One team.

The British driver's contract with Mercedes is set to expire at the end of the season.

However, there appears to have been little progress on renewing the seven-time world champion deal with the F1 giants.

And Hamilton has recently been hinting that he could retire from racing.

This is cause for concern for Mercedes as team principal Wolff admitted there is no backup plan should he leave.

He said: "I think it may sound naive, but I really struggle to think of a Plan B, if my Plan A is still the one that is my favourite.


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"I don't want to engage in discussions with other drivers, because I'm happy with the ones that are in the team, that's for sure.

"At the moment, there is no Plan B. It's Lewis."

The Austrian also insisted that should Hamilton leave the team then he would be given plenty of notice.

He added: "I think that he would tell us early enough.

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"I don't think that Lewis would say, 'I can't do this anymore. I'm out of here tomorrow.'

"He would always feel the responsibility for the team. He wouldn't leave the team alone. Drivers can always take decisions [like that], but he wouldn't let us down.

"But then, I think if you believe that you're a team that is attractive for others, you will find solutions."

Meanwhile, Mercedes technical director James Allison believes there is reason to be optimistic about the performance, with the team now "quietly" believing they are the second-best car in the field.

Reflecting on the Australian GP, Allison said: "Overall, [there is] a sense of quiet satisfaction that we have moved the car forward.

"That, from a performance point of view, we probably got as much as it is able to give right now.

"That happiness, of course, is tempered by the disappointment that we only got one car to the flag and that George [Russell] was not able to show what he was capable of in the car on race day, having performed very strongly up to that point in the weekend.

“We didn’t have huge breakthroughs, but we moved forward a little bit.

"We put a small amount on the leaders Red Bull, and we are starting to get on terms with, and maybe just nose a whisker in front of, the Ferraris and the Aston Martins."

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