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Hamilton: My future not down to one person

NEWS STORY
16/08/2020

In a somewhat ambiguous move on Friday, Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, when asked about his future at the team said that though he hoped to remain with the German outfit he couldn't specify whether it would be in the same role.

He then further muddied the waters by talking about the number of races he has attended in recent years and his family.

"I really have enjoyed many years in Formula 1 in that (team principal) role and the discussions that we are having are very good," he told reporters.

"I'm happy that my relationship with (Daimler boss) Ola (Kallenius) is probably as good as it can be and we speak almost every day," he added.

"There are many factors that make me want to stay in Formula 1," her continued. "On the other side, it takes a toll and this plays into my consideration but as it stands, there is no reason not to continue with Mercedes and we will find out in which role.

Asked if there is a possibility he will not remain as team principal, he said: "This is down to the discussion between Ola and myself. We want to do the best for the team and continue to see the team prosper and as I've said before, I really enjoy the role and my plan is to continue but I never want to be in a situation that you're becoming from very good to good and try to play my part in the team and that is the discussions we're currently having.

"I enjoy what I do," he added, "I enjoy it mostly because I love to work with the people that are in the team and there is no better place for me to be than in a meeting room with the engineers, to sit in the garage and watch the great work that is happening around. I enjoy the battles that we have off-track, I like to engage with our sponsors and partners and this is how I feel.

"What that means for the future is a decision that I need to take together with my wife and together with Ola and that doesn't mean that I won't be around as a team principal or I won't be around in any other role but it's just that I'm thinking about it."

Asked if his decision on his future, whatever that might be, will impact Hamilton's decision on his future, the Austrian said: "I think Lewis staying at that moment is the best he can and it's what he wants to do. He has the possibility of achieving great success going forward, winning more races and hopefully championships.

"It's flattering that he says that it's dependent on what I do but I think he doesn't need me, he has a great team there that will always support him but as I said before, I haven't taken the decision yet, these are discussions that are ongoing and that are positive and I enjoy them.

"I don't want to give it a spin that I am leaving because that's not the case. It's just that I'm in a moment of reflection, of reflection of where Formula 1 is heading to, what is happening around the COVID case and also personal reasons, that I've said before. Susie is in a good place, running a Formula E team and that means she's away a lot. I've been to God knows how many races, I think 120 Formula 1 races in the last eight years and that is something we're thinking about."

24 hours later, after claiming the 92nd pole of his F1 career, Lewis Hamilton made it clear that his decision on his future isn't dependent on Wolff. Indeed, he appeared to suggest that certain decisions have already been made.

"What you've got to remember is that it's a team of so many people," said the world champion. "There's almost 2,000 people in the team, or something like that. It's not just down to one person, one individual.

"So yes, that's not determining whether or not I stay," he continued. "I think what we've built... I've been a part of growing with this team and growing with that growth. The strength is there through and through, so, as I said, it's not just one individual.

"I think everyone has to do what's best for them," he added. "What's best for their career and happiness at the end of the day. I think it's smart for him. I think everyone needs to sit, take a moment and evaluate what they want to do moving forwards. Whether it suits them and their families and their future dreams.

"We've done so much already together in this period of time. I hope he stays because it's fun working with him, and it's fun negotiating with him and fun having the up and downs. So, I'm truly grateful to Toto and I'll be fully supportive in whatever he decides to do."

Hmm...

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