‘It’s a Team Decision’ – Wolff Refutes Reports of ‘Verstappen Clause’ in Lewis Hamilton’s Contract

Published 02/09/2021, 1:24 AM EST
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – OCTOBER 27: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates 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)


After quite a long wait, a resolution between Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton has now finally come about. Mercedes made the official announcement through their social media platforms, putting an end to all speculation on who will drive for the team in 2021.

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The Briton now stays on for another season in what will be a fixed one-year-deal. If not for anything else, questions over Hamilton’s future will no longer be asked until the 2022 season is upon us.

Team principal Toto Wolff also responded to claims of certain clauses being included in the seven-time F1 champion’s contract. Speaking in an interview, he has now said that these rumors are ‘not true’ and ‘baseless.’

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No discussion about any driver-specific clause, says team boss Toto Wolff

Wolff stated, “On the specific clauses that were out there in the media, I don’t know where they came from because none of that is true.”

“I actually read about this, and I found it interesting, but the truth is that there was not one second of discussion about any driver specific clause.”

The teammate veto clause, in particular, had garnered a lot of interest, with many perplexed at Hamilton’s reported demand at the time. But it is now safe to say that no such conditions are part of his new deal, as mentioned by Wolff himself.

“He has never asked for that in the last eight years and it’s a team decision.

“And the other clause about a revenue share – that came out of nowhere. That rumour was baseless too, so none of that was ever part of our discussions,” concluded the Mercedes boss.

What’s next for Lewis Hamilton then?

The extension will see Hamilton enter his ninth season with the defending champions. Naturally, with the better part of the last decade a joyous and successful period, sealing a new deal was always on the cards for him.

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SHANGHAI, CHINA: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of China at Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Mercedes themselves would also be happy to retain the current best F1 driver’s services for another year, before taking a call ahead of the 2022 regulations. Needless to say, both entities would want to continue their success in the new season as well.

The short-term deal now gives Lewis the best opportunity to deliver a record-breaking eighth F1 title. With the contract now secured, all eyes will be on Hamilton as Mercedes as winter testing approaches us in a few weeks’ time.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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