Toto Wolff sheds light on the intriguing behind-the-scenes negotiations aimed at securing a new contract for the illustrious Lewis Hamilton.
Almost halfway into the 2023 season, the seven-time world champion’s existing agreement with Mercedes hangs in the balance. Nonetheless, Hamilton’s unwavering loyalty remains steadfast as he strives to guide the team back to their championship-winning glory days.
Rumours swirled during the Monaco Grand Prix, suggesting that Ferrari had dangled a lucrative multimillion-pound contract in front of the racing icon. Yet, both Hamilton and Ferrari’s team boss, Frederic Vasseur, promptly dismissed such speculation with a dismissive wave.
Historically, Hamilton’s contracts have materialized mere weeks prior to the commencement of a new season. A testament to this trend is his one-year agreement for 2021, inked in February just ahead of pre-season testing.
Similarly, his ongoing two-year pact for ’22 and ’23 was inked a mere few months ago in July 2021.
The Mercedes Team Principal in an interview revealed: “Obviously, there are more people involved because there’s Lewis’ management, lawyers on our side and it is never down to me alone.”
“But I would say that when it comes to the nitty gritty details – the things that are important – Lewis and I spent an afternoon together in New York sitting on a sofa. There wasn’t any beer, but a mineral water.”
Ever since Mercedes made the strategic decision to bid farewell to its innovative zero sidepod concepts and embrace a more traditional design approach, its performance on the track has soared.
Despite not having the race-winning car, the Silver Arrows has clinched an impressive three-podium finish this campaign, including a remarkable two-three finish in Spain that stands as one of their most remarkable accomplishments during the ground effects era.
Fueling their momentum further, Mercedes is set to unveil a wave of exciting upgrades at Silverstone, just in time for the highly anticipated British Grand Prix.
Toto Wolff, the driving force behind the team’s operations, exudes optimism, believing that a palpable “positive dynamic” is gradually reclaiming its place in Brackley, heralding an era of renewed vigor and competitiveness.
“I think we can see, I can see the positive dynamic cascading, transcending into the organisation,” he said.
“We feel that the car is coming together, we see that our data is yielding results on track and we haven’t felt it in a long time. That contributes to this place being in a very good place.”