Mercedes boss Toto Wolfe broke silence on the deal to renew the contract of team big star Lewis Hamilton. Austrian said that it was absolutely clear that Hamilton and Mercedes wanted the partnership to continue, and that the delay was related to the fact that he and the driver were not able to close the details by sitting at the table with lawyers in general.
In an interview with Austrian TV ORF, Wolff said: “The lawyers are working hard. We haven’t made their lives easy, of course, when we were discussing the details of the contract through Zoom and the lawyers. Lee ended up with some surprises. But now he’s in the United States and I’m here. At some point, we’ll end. “
This is the version Wolff has been giving for months to explain why the negotiations have been going on for so long. Hamilton’s final renovations, in 2018, had already taken months to leave and this time, there were two factors that made the situation more complicated: first, Mercedes was reviewing its structure, with Wolfe being the team leader Initiated a succession process for the position of. , While increasing its presence as a shareholder.
Mercedes, meanwhile, sells part of its shares to sponsor INEOS, which is now the third of the team. All of this was announced only in December and it is understandable that negotiations with Hamilton, as he has stated many times, are pending this definition.
“It follows that it works in negotiation. You always have different interests, but this is normal. We have a really solid foundation in our relationship. We celebrate a lot of successes together and we are in the future. I want to continue this too. But sometimes you have. To discuss things in details, and it still takes some time. Before Bahrain, at the latest, you have to sign something at some point , ”Wolff said, referring to pre-season testing in mid-March.
Wolff also clarified that George Russell played very well in substituting Hamilton when the British took the Kovid-19 and lost and Saqir’s GP had no effect on the negotiations.
One of the ambiguities about Hamilton’s contract is its duration: the Englishman signed his first two deals with Mercedes for three years and the last two years. And now he talks about what he holds to be his final F-1 contract. Hamilton is 36 years old and has seven world titles, plus he is the biggest winner in the history of the category.