“Times Change” – Toto Wolff Accepts Lewis Hamilton’s New Approach to F1

Published 03/08/2021, 3:40 AM EST
2018 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX (13 September 2018) – Zone 1 – Paddock Club – Drivers’ Autograph Session Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton Singapore Grand Prix via Reuters Plus


The contract renewal of Lewis Hamilton took the better part of the offseason for Mercedes. However, they managed to get it across the line with the wrinkle of it being for just one season. Despite the uncertainty of their future together, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff feels Hamilton will still be committed to the team during 2021.

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The contract renewal was delayed as the terms were not to either party’s liking. In the aftermath of the renewal, a lot of unconfirmed rumors were rife. These involved Hamilton not being happy with said contract. 

However, Wolff feels this contract will give both parties a lot of flexibility and will give either party enough time to either extend or part ways.

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Lewis Hamilton will be very committed to the team according to Wolff

The Austrian is very happy with Hamilton’s commitment to the team’s cause in 2021. In an interview, he said, “No, no doubt about his commitment.”

He understood Hamilton’s sentiments of opting for a one-year deal. He said, “[There are] new priorities for all of us in terms of the way we live our health. He’s very passionate about his initiatives, against racism and inequality.

“First of all, he enjoys racing a lot. We enjoy working with each other and we discussed that a lot, but he’s absolutely right. Times change.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

“I think it’s fair enough for a driver that has won seven championships, to give himself the flexibility in his mind to decide what he wants to do in the future. Whether this is racing or outside of the circus.”

The Austrian hopes to avoid the uncertainty of 2021 in 2022. He said, “We have agreed that we want to pick up the discussions much earlier this year, to avoid a situation like we had in 2020, to run out of time and be in the uncomfortable position that there is no time left before the beginning of the season.”

What is the Brit’s future beyond 2021?

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Hamilton has given himself some wiggle room by agreeing to a one-year deal only. He is at present 36 years old and would be 37 by the time the game-changing 2022 season rolls around.

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

His motivation to continue in the sport could take a dip after he potentially wins his record-breaking eighth title. He also could be looking to concentrate on his initiatives outside of the F1 paddock.

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We don’t know whether we will see Hamilton on the track in 2022. What we do know, however, is that we’ll surely see him driving at the front of the grid this season, hoping to clinch the all-important title #8.

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Ashish Thomas

211 articles

Ashish Thomas is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having followed motorsports since age 5, Ashish holds an enviable knowledge of F1 history. Ashish holds extensive experience in sports writing, having previously worked for SportsQuest and Fansided.

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