Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has pleaded with star man Lewis Hamilton to continue his Formula One career into the forthcoming season. The plea comes with the Brit seriously considering retiring following Max Verstappen’s win the 2021 Drivers’ Championship in a pulsating race in Abu Dhabi on the final day.
Mercedes team principal Wolff, 50, was livid after Verstappen was allowed to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in surreptitious and controversial circumstances.
With Hamilton having led for 57 of the 58 laps, a safety car was deployed after Nicholas Latifi of Williams crashed on lap 53.
Hamilton, who was ahead by 10 seconds at the time, failed to pit under the safety car as he did not want to fall behind Verstappen with just four laps to go.
This gave the Dutchman the chance to receive new tyres and gain a considerable advantage on Hamilton.
And, with the bizarre decision for the cars in between Verstappen and Hamilton to unlap themselves, it ensured Red Bull star Verstappen slowly used the tyres to his advantage by having a free run at the seven-time world champion.
Hamilton is believed to be considering retirement following the loss, with the Stevenage-born star having won every title bar one since 2014.
And Wolff has gone on record willing his key asset to sign a new deal.
“I really hope we’ll see him again,” Wolff admitted to Krone.
And the Austrian has said that he would happily meet Hamilton for a drink to discuss the matter – but not tequila.
“No later than February,” the Austrian admitted the deadline to meet Hamilton was.
“And certainly not to drink tequila. I had enough of that in Abu Dhabi!”