Hamilton links future at Mercedes to Wolff

Philip Duncan
Lewis Hamilton is weighing whether to renew his contract at Mercedes or switch teams in 2021

Lewis Hamilton wants reassurances about Mercedes boss Toto Wolff's plans before committing to his future there.

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.

Hamilton's PS40 million ($A76 million) deal is up for renewal at the end of next year, and he is set to sit down with Wolff over the winter to discuss his future.

"I am waiting to see where Toto's head is at," Hamilton said ahead of Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix.

"He has been the perfect match for this team, so I don't want him to leave if I am going to stay in this sport.

"I know that as a figurehead of a business, you have got to have the right people in place.

"If you look at some organisations, a new person can come in and they will start doing things their own way, and it can go wrong. So, what he does is important for me."

Team principal Wolff is absent from this weekend's race after Hamilton secured his sixth world championship in Austin a fortnight ago.

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.

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 No.1, 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," he said.

Hamilton will wear a special crash helmet 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," Hamilton said.

"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."