Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have been a Formula 1 match made in heaven - but if Bernie Ecclestone is to be believed, that particular union could soon come to an end.
The fate of the championship pairing could hinge on any off-season moves made by Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, with a move to the new Aston Martin team on the cards according to Ecclestone.
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The former F1 supremo told The Sun he believed Wolff had become close with billionaire Lawrence Stroll, owner of the Racing Point team (formerly Force India) which will become Aston Martin for the 2021 F1 season.
“Wolff has the brains to pick the right people to be friends with, and I think we will more than likely see him join Lawrence at Aston Martin,” Ecclestone said.
“Lawrence has some people with him and the group has bought control of the company, and I suppose Toto could jump in there as chief executive. It might work.”
Stroll’s son Lance currently drives for Racing Point, having held a seat at Williams in 2017 and 2018, when Stroll helped bankroll the legacy English team.
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Six-time world drivers champion Hamilton, who has enjoyed the lion’s share of his F1 success alongside Wolff with Mercedes, has openly declared his own future with the team could be impacted by any moves Wolff makes.
Hamilton is one of a number of high profile drivers to be out of contract at the end of 2020 - a list which includes Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Back in November, Hamilton said the relationship he had with Wolff was a ‘perfect match’.
“I have obviously considered the next couple of years and naturally I know that I want to continue racing. I love what I’m doing and I see no reason for me to stop anytime soon,” he said.
“I don’t know what that is for him (Wolff), only he will know. Naturally I don’t want him to leave, particularly if I’m staying in the sport.
“As a figurehead of a business, you’ve got to have the right people in place.
“He is and has been the right person, he has been the perfect match.
“It is important to me and I am waiting also to see where his head is at.”