Toto Wolff’s Genius in Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes Agreeing to a 1-Year F1 Contract

Published 02/09/2021, 1:20 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – November 29, 2020 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


For months F1 community has spammed social media with speculations regarding the Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes contract. The negotiation saga took unusually long, culminating in the pair extending their contract for an unexpected term of one-year.

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David Croft, Sky Sport’s F1 commentator, believes the term of the contract is a genius move by Toto Wolff. Unlike his previous multi-year contracts, this deal was for one year and there is no option of extension. This leaves Mercedes at a potential advantage towards the end of next season.

Toto Wolff clarified that there was never a doubt about signing Hamilton. However, explained that the delay was because of the pandemic and there really wasn’t any urgency to the matter.

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But according to Croft, the deal was a genius move on Wolff’s part. This contract ensures that at the end of the season, the team will have two empty seats and they will have three drivers gunning for them – Hamilton, Bottas, and George Russell.

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Toto Wolff explained the reasons for the delay and stated that they will have the 2022 conversation after this season. He also laid down the plans to start the next session of negotiations earlier and pointed out the factors that prevented a long-term commitment.

“There are uncertainties in the world that affect the way that the sport can operate and they can have an influence on our revenue, on TV money, on sponsorship income,” he said.

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP, Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP and Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff talk on stage at the F1 Live event during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

The technical regulations starting from 2022 must have been another factor for a short-term deal. Wolff also put down the rumors that Hamilton was pitching for a veto on his future teammate. According to the Austrian, the rumor about the revenue split was also baseless.

This year is going to be extremely important for Lewis Hamilton to claim his eighth world title.

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Do you believe Hamilton will leave the sport at the end of the season, and George Russell will claim a Mercedes seat at the end of 2021?

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Ayush Manjunath

586 articles

Ayush Manjunath is a Formula 1 author for EssentiallySports with more than 500 articles to his name. A Law graduate and a current Sports Management student, Ayush also has a certificate from UCLA on Sports, Media and Entertainment Management. He has an undying love for motorsports and lives to see Max Verstappen, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris battle for the championship one day!

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