‘Has to Be a Sensible Agreement’ – Toto Wolff Rules Out a 3 Year Deal for Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

Published 01/29/2021, 1:11 AM EST
ISTANBUL, TURKEY -Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates winning a 7th F1 World Drivers Championship in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Turkey at Intercity Istanbul Park in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Tolga Bozoglu – Pool/Getty Images)


Mercedes has been living under the shadows for over a month now, not uttering a word on their decision regarding Lewis Hamilton. Amid such a quiet period, finally, Toto Wolff walked into the limelight as he revealed the team’s final decision on the Knight.

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The Austrian assured that the announcement of Lewis extending his stay at Mercedes was just days away. But that was always a known outcome. The bigger question would be, why the unexpected delay? Are Mercedes and their star driver losing their plot?

Wolff’s expectations on the soon-to-confirm Lewis Hamilton contract agreement

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Speaking to RTL, Toto Wolff affirmed that Lewis Hamilton would not be getting a 3-year contract this time around, as the team is holding major development plans for the future.

I don’t think so,” the Austrian said. “We see a development in the near future, not only with the budget cap [from 2021] but also with the technical rule change [for the 2022 season], where I think you have to keep your eyes open. But let’s put it this way: We are not far away.” (Google Translate)

Race winner Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes GP celebrate with Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

The contract announcement was initially expected around the Christmas period. However, things didn’t go as per plan, as the two parties met with a stalemate, with Lewis expecting more, but his team offering less.

Reports claimed Lewis demanded a hefty amount of money and was looking eager to secure his future in the long run with Mercedes. However, Daimler was unhappy with it, and the team always had the upper hand in the talks.

With all the teams apart from Mercedes locked out for the 2021 season, it was a do-or-die situation for Lewis, and it looks like he has opted to go ahead with the former option.

Not far from an announcement: Toto Wolff

Despite the fact that Mercedes has almost arrived at the finishing line of the contract talks, Wolff is resisting himself from coming up with a potential date regarding the official announcement.

Apparently, his reluctance is due to the fact that Mercedes is still figuring out a sensible agreement to offer the Briton.

I assume that we are not far from an announcement. We don’t want to be put under pressure, but it has to be a sensible agreement,” he was quoted as saying by Motorsport-Total.

Second-placed Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP looks on in parc ferme during the F1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone in Northampton, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

The ongoing decade is a crucial phase for all the teams racing on the grid, and one tiny mistake could set them on the back foot. Hence, Mercedes will have to be cautious about how they wish to spend their budget, and not look to throw it out on a mammoth 3-year agreement with Lewis.

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Despite the huge differences, the chances of the contract talks falling apart are very slim. Thus, considering the talks pan out perfectly, when could the much-awaited announcement reach the fans?

Well, as of now, Mercedes has roughly marked the winter testing as the deadline. And considering where the two parties stand now, the fans might as well receive the announcement much earlier than expected.

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Rohit Kumar

948 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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