Mercedes announced new deal for both of their current drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas before the German Grand Prix. The new deal for Hamilton is reportedly worth 80 million after all bonuses.
But negotiating it would not have been easy for him according to former teammate, Nico Rosberg. The former champion went on to reveal why.
“Toto Wolff is tough! I wouldn’t have wanted to be in Lewis’ shoes in the middle of the season negotiating with him”, Rosberg told Sky Sports.
“Lewis was doing it himself as well which is great. It’s a big big step for Mercedes to put some calm into that side of things and fully focus again on the performance.”
Lewis Hamilton and Rosberg had been teammates as children and rose through the ranks together but the relationship ended on a sour note after the latter’s title win in 2016.
Though two years have elapsed, it appears their relationship is still fragile. Lewis Hamilton is said to have influenced the FIA to prevent Rosberg from conducting the post-race interviews in Hockenheim, as reported by BILD.
“It [post-race interview] was for Monaco and Hockenheim so I thought. Both times I had already gotten the release. But then came a few days before the message that there is no need”, Rosberg revealed.
Despite all of that, the German was positive of Hamilton and Mercedes bouncing back to counter the Ferrari’s rise this year. “For us outsiders it’s nice to see that battle”, he said.
“I always still believe in Mercedes because I was there and I know how damn incredible they are and how great Toto is as a leader. I’m confident that they will always manage to bounce back confidently.”
Mercedes will certainly hope that their former driver’s words ring true after a disastrous qualifying session for Lewis Hamilton. His car’s hydraulics gave way and he could not celebrate his new contract by getting his car into the top three positions.