Toto Wolff Explains Why Mercedes’ Newest Contract Extension With Lewis Hamilton ‘Was Complex’

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February 19, 2021 3:30 pm

Following the 2020 F1 season, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes hit a rough patch when the two parties ignited contract talks. The two started the negotiations over extending Lewis’s contract during the Christmas break. However, it wasn’t as easier as they expected it to be.

The talks just weren’t coming to an end, as the team’s part-owner, Toto Wolff, eventually revealed that the deadline had been extended to February. Thankfully, the time frame turned out to be enough, as Lewis finally signed a 1-year contract.

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff on stage for the F1 Live event during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Unsurprisingly, the bizarre short-term contract led to questions over Lewis‘s future with the team. However, Wolff clarified that the massive time constraint forced the team to go ahead with a temporary 1-year deal.

Apparently, there were no difference in opinion between the team and the driver, as the delay was all about starting the talks a tad too late. Besides, he also hinted at a bigger contract heading the Briton’s way.

Hence, to avoid any further confusion, the Austrian investor opined that Mercedes might start the talks soon with Lewis regarding his stay beyond 2021.

Wolff’s view on the Lewis Hamilton contract talks

According to GP Fans, Wolff opened up why the talks turned out more complex this time around with Lewis. “This time it was more complex because we couldn’t see each other,” he said. “There were not huge gaps or discrepancies as to how we would see this new contract.

So overall I think it was a few weeks that we spent on video conferencing every couple of days, and then the lawyers need to put that into a contract.

Of course, Mercedes are ready to stick with Lewis in the future. However, there is a massive uncertainty over the 7-time world champion’s interests.

Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates winning a 7th F1 World Drivers Championship on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Turkey at Intercity Istanbul Park in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Lewis is already on the verge of setting a new world championship record, long-held by Michael Schumacher. And if he accomplishes that, the chances of Lewis bidding adieu to the sport are pretty high.

Hence, it is all about preparedness for Mercedes from here on, being ready for any late twists and turns. Overall, how do you think the 2022 line-up will look for Mercedes? Will it be the same old Hamilton-Bottas duo? Or will they rejig their line-up a bit with much younger drivers? Well, let’s see what the future holds.

Read More: Would Lewis Hamilton Be Regarded Differently Had He Not Won the 2008 World Championship?

 

Rohit Kumar

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. With his favorite track being Hockenheim and his favorite turn being Eau Rouge (Spa, Belgium), Rohit is a strong advocate for bringing back the pre-turbo-hybrid era V10 engines and their screams. Apart from being an author, Rohit is also a trained tennis player, having qualified for national tournaments. He has been a part of the Estilio Academy for over a decade.

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