Toto Wolff has openly acknowledged that he is currently dealing with an evolved Hamilton, referring to the Mercedes star navigating through an extended phase of not holding the title of the best in the world.
The head of the Brackley-based team has observed a transformation in the seven-time world champion, who has relinquished his position as the leading driver in the sport to his Red Bull Racing adversary, Max Verstappen.
In a recent interview, the Mercedes team principal discussed Hamilton’s remarkable adaptability. He stated: “He’s been great. He’s been super supportive when the team needed it, and that dynamic goes in both directions.”
Following a remarkable streak of securing consecutive constructors’ championships for eight years, spanning from 2014 to 2021, Mercedes has encountered the necessity to relinquish their dominant position in the sport to Red Bull Racing.
The latter team has achieved an unprecedented command by emerging victorious in every race of the ongoing 2023 season.
“When he’s not great mentally about how the car is going, we try to support him, and when you can see when the engineers didn’t know what to do next on the track on race weekend, it’s he who cheered everybody up and brought the right attitude as a driver.”
Hamilton and Mercedes have engaged in a year-long contract negotiation to extend the driver’s tenure with the team beyond the conclusion of the 2023 season.
However, Toto Wolff holds the belief that his robust partnership with the seven-time world champion can endure this phase even without securing victories for Mercedes.
“We’re both very ambitious and we trust in both our ambition and determination. Whether it was a great run or more difficult like now, it’s a partnership that goes beyond the racing side because we are in the same boat. He always says we win and we lose together,” Wolff said.
“He’s still able to scrutinize himself every day in order to become a better person, a better racing driver, a better manager, a better entrepreneur, and a better human being,” Wolff added.
“People who take it for a fact that ‘This is who I am,’ that’s not his attitude, not his mindset. It’s difficult to actually change your personality or your mindset, values, and learnings, but he does that. He embraces that.”