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Wolff 'absolutely confident' Hamilton will stay at Mercedes amid exit rumours

Toto Wolff believes that Lewis Hamilton is close to signing an extended contract with Mercedes amid rumours that the Briton could look for a more competitive seat.

Toto Wolff believes that Lewis Hamilton will sign a contract extension with the Mercedes team amid speculation that the seven-time champion could look for a more competitive Formula 1 seat. Following Mercedes' poor start to the season, Hamilton had expressed some frustrations at the prospect of not competing for another World Championship. The 38-year-old vented in Bahrain that he believed the team hadn't listened to his inputs regarding the design of the 2023 car, something he later said was a 'poor choice of words'. This helped to trigger speculation that Hamilton could look for a move away from the team but, speaking ahead of the Saudi Arabian GP, team boss Wolff expressed his confidence at Hamilton signing a new deal at the team. "Well, I have no idea what is being said in silly season, I just know where we are with Lewis and with George and nothing else is relevant," Wolff told media, including RacingNews365.com . "We are talking about when we want to do it, and how, but we just need to change some terms, the dates, basically." When asked if he was convinced about Hamilton signing a new contract, Wolff responded: "I am absolutely confident."

Wolff: Mercedes can have "no grudge" if Hamilton leaves

Whilst Wolff added that he saw no reason for Hamilton to look elsewhere, he admitted that he could see a scenario where he leaves the team if results don't improve "in a year or two". "I don't think that Lewis will leave Mercedes at the stage of a career where we trust each other from the great bond among each other," added Wolff. "We have no reason to doubt each other, even though this is a difficult spell. But it will be so nice when we come out of this valley of tears and come back to solid performances. "Nevertheless, as a driver, if he wants to win another championship, he needs to make sure that he has the car, and if we cannot demonstrate that we're able to give him a car in the next couple of years, then he needs to look everywhere. "I don't think he's doing at that stage, but I will have no grudge if that happens in a year or two."

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