F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali revealed he is unsure if Lewis Hamilton will be racing for Mercedes this season – and that could potentially open the door for George Russell to make the step up from Williams.
There have been a lot of rumours doing the rounds over whether Hamilton will pen a new deal.
Nobody who has concrete information has yet come forward to shed light on the negotiations.
Private talks between Hamilton and Mercedes have been kept just that – private.
However, F1’s new boss Domenicali did speak to the Brit last month and he was given no assurances that a contract extension would be signed.
“We spoke in the Christmas period,” he told the Italian broadcaster Sky Sport 24.
“He is preparing – and no, he is not telling me if he will sign or not sign the renewal with Mercedes.”
Domenicali of course wants Hamilton to stay as the 36-year-old’s huge global appeal is fantastic for the sport.
But his uncertainty leads to the question – what if Hamilton does not put pen to paper?
Domenicali is the highest-ranked F1 personal to cast doubt over Mercedes’ 2021 driver line-up.
Williams gave the youngster permission to test his skill in a Championship-winning car and he duly stepped up to the mark.
The young Brit should have secured the first F1 win of his career having led for the majority of the race.
A horrific double-stacked late pit stop, followed by a tyre puncture, meant Russell had to settle for ninth place.
But he best make sure his phone is not on silent over the coming weeks just in case Toto Wolff gives him another buzz.