‘Kept It Very Late’ – Wolff on Why Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton Only Agreed to a 1 Year Deal

Published 02/09/2021, 12:51 AM EST
SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA – Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates in parc ferme after winning the Formula One Grand Prix of Styria at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


Ever since the talks began between Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, rumors started surrounding the two parties, with most of them claiming that the seven-time world champion and his team were agreeing to a two-year deal until the end of 2022 with an option of extending it up to 2023.

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However, the reality turned out differently than expected. As of now, Lewis will only stick around the team until the end of 2021. This unexpected twist led to the indications that Mercedes might open their doors to Lewis’ compatriot, George Russell, by as early as 2022.

However, amid such rumors, Mercedes’ CEO and team principal, Toto Wolff revealed the primary reason behind the bizarre agreement with the Briton.

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Wolff’s view on the Lewis Hamilton contract

According to Autosport, Toto opened up that Mercedes and Lewis had to agree upon a one-year deal due to time constraints. Furthermore, he hinted at another bigger contract heading towards Lewis in the near future.

We jointly agreed on a one-year deal,” he said. “First of all, there is a substantial regulation change in 2022. We also want to see how the world develops, and the company. Plus, on the other side, it’s because we kept it very late.

Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates winning a 7th F1 World Drivers Championship with Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Turkey at Intercity Istanbul Park in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

We wanted to discuss the contract at the end of the [2020] season between the Bahrain races and then obviously, Lewis didn’t feel well. In the end, we started our conversation just before Christmas. So it was important to get it done as soon as possible.

And in that respect, we thought, let’s postpone the discussion about 2022 and onwards to a later stage in 2021.”

Could there be a different reason behind Lewis Hamilton’s 1-year contract?

Keeping Toto’s claims aside, there could be another reason for Mercedes‘ one-year contract offer to Lewis. Considering he is just one title away from beating Michael Schumacher’s long-held record, the Briton could soon reach the top of the F1 record books.

Hence, there is always a huge possibility that Lewis might head out of Formula 1 if he manages to secure that vital title.

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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)

Thus, this could mean that Mercedes are playing safe with their trusted driver, Lewis, and are probably looking to keep the option of Russell joining the team by 2022 very much open.

Overall, will Mercedes approach Lewis with an offer beyond the 2021 season? Or will Lewis see off his successful career with the upcoming season?

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Rohit Kumar

747 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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