Lewis Hamilton Explains Why He Rejected Contract Talks With Toto Wolff in 2019

Published 10/30/2020, 4:54 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates with a trophy on the podium after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay


It has been a merry 2020 for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton, who have shown no signs of slowing down. Nearing the closure of both titles, the job now seems easier than before to continue on their dominant winning streak.

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But, a topic that has often been an epitome for speculation, is Lewis Hamilton’s contract. And he has now talked about how the idea of a contract extension, was first floated back in 2019.

Speaking in an interview, Hamilton is quoted as saying, “Naturally I think already last year. In Hungary last year I think Toto [Wolff] was talking about signing a contract.”

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Lewis Hamilton was not ready mentally at the time in 2019

There would not have been much talk, had the new deal been signed, sealed and delivered in 2019 itself. Regardless, Hamilton has spoken about how some things are supposed to happen at the right time.

“Of course the pandemic wasn’t then. And you look back and you’re like maybe I should have signed it then.”

Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal – Race winner Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during the press conference after the race FIA/Handout via REUTERS

“But the thing is I just think things happen at the right time. And I definitely wasn’t ready mentally at the time.” concluded Hamilton.

One theory that has been doing the rounds, is about team principal Toto Wolff’s future being closely linked with that of Hamilton’s. But it kind of feels like a given, that sooner rather than later, both of Mercedes’ key personnel will ink new deals.

Hamilton does want to continue racing – but for how long?

It feels like Mercedes and Hamilton will eventually work it together, to sign a new deal. But possibly, one of the hold-ups in signing that extension, could be his duration of the contract.

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Of course at 35, the Briton is not growing any younger. And as he targets an eighth Drivers’ title next season in 2021, he might then want to step away from the sport, having achieved it all.

Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton crosses the line to win the race FIA/Handout via REUTERS

But, he has continually talked about setting focus and attention towards their major goals this season. Mercedes can definitely seal yet another Constructors’ title, if they manage to secure a total of 11 points from both drivers at Imola.

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As for Hamilton personally, his ideal objective would be to win the races in Imola and Istanbul. By doing so, he will step into a whole new elite club. Which sees him equal his titles tally with Schumacher.

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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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