Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says he has not spoken to Lewis Hamilton since the end of last season about signing a new deal with the world champions.
Hamilton will enter the 2020 season aiming to win a record-equalling seventh world championship title.
But the sport is set to undergo major changes in 2021 with new car designs, budget rules and sporting regulations.
Mercedes are still expected to be the fastest team in the sport but after seven years, Hamilton may be looking for fresh opportunities in the final years of his career.
The six-time champion has made no secret of his admiration for rivals Ferrari and the Italian side has strongly hinted they would be interested if he was on the market.
Speaking at a press conference announcing INEOS as a new principal partner to the team, Wolff insisted they want to keep hold of Hamilton but revealed his star driver is set to start the season with no agreement in place.
“It is the obvious pairing going forward,” Wolff said.
“We would like to have the fastest man in the car and I know that Lewis wants to be in the fastest car. So there is an obvious mutual outcome.
“We travel around the world almost 10 months every year and get on each other’s nerves every second weekend.
“And what we do over the winter is we leave each other in peace.
“The last conversation I had with him was the evening before the Christmas party where we had a nice chat and [agreed] we would continue our discussion once he comes back from America and we have properly kicked off the season.
“I have great belief in the ability of the team to attract the best drivers and at the moment he has proven he is the best current driver with his six titles.
“And in the medium to long term I would hope that we would be able to provide the technology to the best driver and attract them.”
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