Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has hinted 2021 may be Lewis Hamilton's final year as the team's main driver.

The seven-time F1 champion ended speculation over his immediate future on Monday by signing a one-year deal to remain with the Silver Arrows.

However, George Russell appears destined to join Mercedes after the Williams driver impressed while standing in for Hamilton at the Sakhir Grand Prix in December.

And that particular move could materialise next year, with Wolff admitting Hamilton's long-term future remains unclear.

“Lewis needs to decide what his future holds for him so I wouldn’t want to comment on where he stands (in 2022),” said Wolff.

Lewis Hamilton may leave Mercedes in 2022, hints Toto Wolff
Lewis Hamilton may leave Mercedes in 2022, hints Toto Wolff

“On the other side, the team needs to decide long-term what we are going to do about our drivers.

“Valtteri (Bottas) and Lewis have our 100 per cent commitment and loyalty for 2021. We will support them with everything we have. We will then look beyond this year and say what is the line-up that we imagine in 2022 and onwards?

“Our first discussion will be with Valtteri and Lewis in respecting our values of loyalty and integrity, but on the other side, the young drivers are the future and we need to consider how we want to set ourselves up for the years beyond.

George Russell could end up joining Mercedes.
George Russell could end up joining Mercedes

“As long as Lewis enjoys racing he is very capable of going longer. He looks after himself, physically and mentally, so I don’t think in terms of ability that ends in 2021. But in the end, it is his decision.”

However, Wolff and Daimler chief Ola Kallenius are reportedly at loggerheads over who will succeed Hamilton when he eventually calls time on his driving career.

Wolff is reported to be keen on signing 23-year-old Max Verstappen, who finished third last year driving for Red Bull.

However, Daimler boss Kallenius wants Russell to be the team's No1 once Hamilton departs, according to Motorsport.com.