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Wednesday, December 11
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Lewis Hamilton wants assurances before signing new Mercedes deal

:Headline: Lewis Hamilton wants assurances before signing new Mercedes deal: ID:379123: from db_amp
Wolff has overseen five of Hamilton's six world championship triumphs.
PA | 25d

Lewis Hamilton will seek reassurances over Toto Wolff's plans before committing his future to Mercedes.

Wolff, who has overseen five of Hamilton's six world championship triumphs, has been touted as a leading candidate to run the sport beyond next season.

The 47-year-old Austrian insists his focus remains on Mercedes, but after leading the Silver Arrows to win historic sixth consecutive drivers' and constructors' titles, he could be tempted by taking on a fresh challenge.

"I know that being stuck in a position for too long is not always a positive.

"I want people to constantly spread their wings and do what is best. The sport could also be in a good place with someone like him running it."

Team principal Wolff is absent from this weekend's race after Hamilton secured his sixth world championship in Austin a fortnight ago. It marks the first grand prix Wolff has missed since he joined the all-conquering Silver Arrows in 2013.

Wolff has formed a strong relationship with Hamilton, allowing the Briton time to focus on extra-curricular activities away from the track as well as making him the sport's best-paid driver.

Lewis Hamilton (right) is set to sit down with Toto Wolff (left) over the winter to discuss his future (David Davies/PA)

Hamilton will start next season as the favourite to equal Michael Schumacher's record of seven championships. Ferrari could yet provide him with the option of then surpassing Schumacher's tally in 2021.

But the 34-year-old, perhaps sensing the Italian giants are manoeuvring the impressive Charles Leclerc to be their long-term number one, has recently played down a switch to Ferrari, instead speaking of continuing his legacy with Mercedes.

"I love what I am doing and I see no reason to stop anytime soon," added Hamilton.

"I have only just completed this contract, and I have to start talking about the next one, which is frustrating because it is another stressful moment where you have to get into the ring and have a friendly, yet intense conversation.

"It's daunting when you think of it coming up because you're committing to a period of time in your life. Sometimes it's hard to imagine that far ahead."

Hamilton will wear a special crash helmet here at Interlagos to honour Ayrton Senna, his childhood hero who perished at the San Marino Grand Prix 25 years ago.

"As a kid, I saw Ayrton on TV doing something great just as I saw Superman," said Hamilton. "He was my favourite superhero.

"I saw Ayrton standing up for himself, and, as a young boy growing up in Stevenage who was constantly confronted with bullying, it was great to see someone standing up for themselves, seeing his beliefs and his never-say-die attitude."

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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool16151040142646
2Leicester CityLeicester16122239102938
3Manchester CityMan City16102444192532
4Chelsea169253124729
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd166642519624
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves165922319424
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs166553023723
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd165741916322
9Arsenal165742424022
10Crystal Palace166461418-422
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle166461723-622
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton165472024-419
13Burnley165382129-818
14Everton165291928-917
15Bournemouth164481824-616
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham164481828-1016
17Aston Villa164392328-515
18Southampton164391835-1715
19Norwich CityNorwich1632111734-1711
20Watford16169930-219
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool16151040142646
2Leicester CityLeicester16122239102938
3Manchester CityMan City16102444192532
4Chelsea169253124729
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd166642519624
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves165922319424
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs166553023723
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd165741916322
9Arsenal165742424022
10Crystal Palace166461418-422
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle166461723-622
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton165472024-419
13Burnley165382129-818
14Everton165291928-917
15Bournemouth164481824-616
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham164481828-1016
17Aston Villa164392328-515
18Southampton164391835-1715
19Norwich CityNorwich1632111734-1711
20Watford16169930-219
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