‘Took Some Time to Finish the Process’ – Toto Wolff Weighs In on Lewis Hamilton’s Contract Renewal

Published 02/08/2021, 6:29 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium with team principle Toto Wolff after winning the race and the world championship Pool via REUTERS/Clive Mason


Finally, the news that we have all have been waiting to hear all winter. After it looked like Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton would keep the hour-glass ticking forever, they have reached an agreement after all to continue their successful relationship.

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The Briton will be behind the steering wheel of the W12 car for 2021, with no clear confirmation for 2022. Team Principal Toto Wolff acknowledged the unusually long duration the contract talks took after they reached an impasse.

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA – JULY 12: 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)

“We have always been aligned with Lewis that we would continue, but the very unusual year we had in 2020 meant it took some time to finish the process,” Wolff noted.

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“Together, we have decided to extend the sporting relationship for another season and to begin a longer-term project to take the next step in our shared commitment to greater diversity within our sport.

Lewis’s competitive record stands alongside the best the sports world has ever seen, and he is a valued ambassador for our brand and our partners. The story of Mercedes and Lewis has written itself into the history books of our sport over the past eight seasons, and we are hungry to compete and to add more chapters to it.”

Can Lewis Hamilton retain his title in 2021?

Whilst the Briton is putting pen to paper on a new contract, he is not extending his stay to be just another F1 driver; he has lofty ambitions. And why wouldn’t he, when he is fresh off his record-equaling seventh World Championship season?

He has the most race wins, most poles, and joint-most driver’s title with Michael Schumacher. So, clearly there is no bigger motivation than breaking that record and standing atop the statistical ‘GOAT’ throne alone, and setting a target for the next generation of drivers to pursue.

However, winning the eighth title won’t be so easy. Given Mercedes‘ sheer dominance of the turbo-hybrid era, it may seem like a piece of cake. However. Red Bull will surely launch a full-fledged attack next season.

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Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 13, 2020 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates winning the race on the podium with second placed Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and third placed Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

Max Verstappen outclassed both the drivers in the W11 at the Abu Dhabi GP. He seems like he can match Lewis in a more equal machinery, and thus, it will be upon Red Bull and Honda to give him the car that his talent deserves next season.

And what if his own teammate Valtteri Bottas comes back with renewed energy? Then, the battle for the 2021 Driver’s title will surely be a triple-threat. Something the fans haven’t witnessed in a while.

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Thus, Hamilton can’t rest easy. He has his work cut out if he wants to create history.

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Bharat Aggarwal

757 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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