Lewis Hamilton is confident that Mercedes will have the strongest driver partnership in Formula 1 next year after an “amazing” meeting with team boss Toto Wolff on Sunday.
Hamilton missed out on a fourth F1 drivers’ championship in 2016 after falling five points short of Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in the final standings.
Rosberg announced five days after winning his maiden World Championship that he would be retiring from F1 with immediate effect, freeing up a seat at Mercedes for 2017.
Speculation has been rife about who will be Hamilton’s teammate for 2017, with Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Pascal Wehrlein among the drivers linked to the seat.
Mercedes began its search for Rosberg’s replacement on Monday, with team boss Toto Wolff saying that whoever was hired would be given equal rights to Hamilton for 2017.
Hamilton took to Instagram on Sunday night to address his fans, posting two short videos of him and Wolff to the ‘stories’ section of his account.
“Hi everyone, we’re in Toto’s kitchen. We just had an amazing meeting,” Hamilton said in the first video.
“I just wanted to send you all a message out, let you know that we’re going to be the strongest partnership next year, and we look forward to fighting for this championship again. Hope you’re all well.”
Wolff added in the second video: “Hi everybody. We spent a good couple of hours together, we had a really fantastic meeting.
“We’ll be coming back so strong in 2017.”
Other names linked with the Mercedes drive for 2017 include Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz Jr., with the team set to decide on Rosberg’s replacement before the end of the year.