Toto Wolff does not expect Lewis Hamilton to retire from F1 at end of the season

Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes his soon-to-be seven-time world champion will not retire from Formula One at the end of the season.

In the moments after winning Sunday's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Hamilton claimed it is not a forgone conclusion that he will remain in the sport when his Mercedes contract expires next month.

Hamilton, 35, who will win a record-equalling seventh title if he triumphs at the Turkish Grand Prix a week on Sunday, said: "I don't even know if I am going to be here next year.

"I would like to be, but there is no guarantee of that. There is a lot that excites me about Formula One's afterlife."

But responding to his star driver's comments, Wolff, whose future as Mercedes team principal beyond this season is also uncertain, said: "I guess if Lewis decided to step out of Formula One, which I don't think will happen, we are going to have a frantic driver market out there.

"We are all happy but very tired and it is the same for me. I relate to his feeling that you question yourself and that you think about all the other things that matter.

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Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
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Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
IMOLA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 01: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and third place Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Renault Sport F1 celebrate on the podium with a shoey during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on November 01, 2020 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Lars Baron - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
IMOLA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 01: Nicholas Latifi of Canada and Williams, Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari kneel as Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing, Daniil Kvyat of Russia and Scuderia AlphaTauri, Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari and Carlos Sainz of Spain and McLaren F1 stand in support of ending racism during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on November 01, 2020 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Lars Baron - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
IMOLA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 01: Third placed Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Renault Sport F1 celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on November 01, 2020 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
IMOLA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 01: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on November 01, 2020 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Lars Baron - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
IMOLA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 01: Carlos Sainz of Spain driving the (55) McLaren F1 Team MCL35 Renault comes in for a tyre change during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on November 01, 2020 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
IMOLA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 01: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP on the grid during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on November 01, 2020 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Lars Baron - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
IMOLA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 01: Mercedes GP mechanic Leo Stevens, race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP, Second placed Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP, and third placed Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Renault Sport F1 celebrate on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on November 01, 2020 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Joe Portlock/Getty Images)
IMOLA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 01: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP, second placed Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP and Mercedes GP mechanic Leo Stevens celebrate on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on November 01, 2020 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Joe Portlock/Getty Images)
IMOLA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 01: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates on the podium after winning the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on November 01, 2020 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
IMOLA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 01: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates on the podium after winning the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on November 01, 2020 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
IMOLA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 01: Third placed Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Renault Sport F1 looks on from parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on November 01, 2020 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Mario Renzi - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
IMOLA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 01: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates with teammates in the pitlane after Mercedes GP win a 7th consecutive F1 Constructors Championship during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on November 01, 2020 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Luca Bruno - Pool/Getty Images)
IMOLA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 01: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates with teammates in the pitlane after Mercedes GP win a 7th consecutive F1 Constructors Championship during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on November 01, 2020 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Luca Bruno - Pool/Getty Images)
IMOLA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 01: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates with teammates in the pitlane after Mercedes GP win a 7th consecutive F1 Constructors Championship during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on November 01, 2020 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Luca Bruno - Pool/Getty Images)
IMOLA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 01: Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on November 01, 2020 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)
IMOLA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 01: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Renault during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on November 01, 2020 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)
IMOLA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 01: Second placed Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP talks with Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on November 01, 2020 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
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"When you switch on the news in the morning, it is all about the struggles we face so it is normal for somebody to have these feelings. But we want to continue this journey. We are not finished.

"There will be a moment when the drivers' championship is going to be decided so we can sit down and talk about the contract. We have a few months before the first race in Australia next year."

Only recently, Hamilton spoke about the possibility of continuing in the sport for another three years and it seems improbable he will walk away with a record-breaking eighth title likely to follow in 2021.

Nevertheless, it is curious that a new contract has not been agreed. Both Hamilton and Mercedes have said that formal discussions over an extension to his current £40million-a-year deal are yet to start.

Hamilton continued: "We are in November and Christmas is not that far away. I feel great, strong, and that I could go on for plenty of months, but Toto mentioned about shelf life and there are multiple things on the top of my mind.

"I have been here a long, long time and I can understand him wanting to pull back a little bit and give more time to his family."

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