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Why Hamilton's Mercedes influence is at a new high

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There's no sign of a new contract - yet - but Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have no intention of splitting up the most potent partnership in Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton was on buoyant form at last week's Silverstone unveiling of the Mercedes W09, the car that he hopes will carry him to his fifth Formula 1 title. He was in a relaxed mood thanks to an extended winter break and he had yet more reasons to be upbeat, for even standing still the new W09 looked mighty impressive.

As world champion Hamilton had some commitments in December, but thereafter Mercedes made few demands on his time. That wasn't coincidence - it reflects the improving relationship between Hamilton and his team boss Toto Wolff, who knows better than most what makes his superstar tick.

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