Listening to Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, you might be forgiven for thinking the juggernaut that has dominated Formula 1 for the last seven years could be reaching the end of its journey.
Hamilton’s victory at Imola, leading team-mate Valtteri Bottas across the line, sealed a record seventh consecutive constructors’ championship for Mercedes, surpassing the achievement set by Ferrari between 1999 and 2005.
And yet there was Wolff talking about the stresses of the role, of not wanting to stay beyond his shelf life, and potentially moving into a different position within Mercedes next year. And Hamilton was saying his boss’ future was “not a concern for me” because “I don’t even know if I’m going to be here next year”.
“I feel great and still very strong and feel like I could keep going for plenty of months,” Hamilton said. “But you mentioned about Toto and shelf life – these are things that stay on the top of my mind. I would like to be here next year but there is no guarantee. A lot excites me in the after life. Time will tell.”
In reality, it is highly unlikely anything will look very different in 2021.