KEY POINTS

  • Lewis Hamilton's contract with Mercedes is set to end at the end of the 2020 season
  • He is yet to sign a new deal
  • Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says the claims may have been made in the heat of the moment

After helping his team win a record-breaking seventh straight constructors' crown Sunday, Lewis Hamilton says there is "no guarantee" that he will stay in Formula 1 next season.

Hamilton's deal with Mercedes is set to expire at the end of the current championship season and he is yet to sign a new deal.

After the race, Mercedes Team principal Toto Wolff mentioned that his roles could change in the team.

When Hamilton was asked about it in a post-race news conference, the six-time world champion said he was not sure if he would be part of the team next year, "I would like to be here next year but there's no guarantee of that for sure. There's a lot that excites me of the afterlife, so time will tell," Formula 1.com reported.

Hamilton is closer to winning a seventh driver's championship after winning the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Sunday. The only remaining rival is his teammate, Valtteri Bottas, who is 85 points behind. Bottas will have to win all the remaining four races to catch up with Hamilton.

Hamilton also told the media that he would probably start the contract negotiations after wrapping up the 2020 championship.

In a separate briefing, Wolff said if Hamilton were to leave Formula 1, then there would be a frantic driver market. He added that Hamilton's statement must have been made in the heat of the moment.

He added that nothing is secure and gave the example of Niki Lauda. In the 1976 Japanese Grand Prix, Lauda pitted to withdraw from the race because of bad weather, following which the championship was won by James Hunt.

"You could wake up one morning on a Friday or a Saturday at the track and say 'I'm just not having fun anymore', and that can happen to anybody," Wolff said, Sky Sports reported.

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Lewis Hamilton Pixabay
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