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Wolff "not worried" by Hamilton contract delay

NEWS STORY
10/01/2021

Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff insists that he is "not worried" by the fact that Lewis Hamilton has yet to agree a new contract with the German team.

While the 2021 entry list is essentially done and dusted, leaving only the race schedule yet to be agreed, fact is there is still one glaring 'vacancy' on the grid, that of the lead Mercedes.

Though most take Lewis Hamilton agreeing a new deal for granted, others believe the ongoing failure to sign on the dotted line indicates a problem, a feeling that has generated some of the sillier clickbait headlines at a time genuine news is hard to come by.

Having previously said that the new deal might not be agreed until the eve of pre-season testing - whenever that might be - Toto Wolff insists that he is "not worried" by his failure to get the seven-time world champion to commit.

"It doesn't worry me at all, because I will always respect Lewis's decisions," Wolff tells Autosport.

"Whether this is staying with us for a long time, or whether that means leaving the sport and pursuing different interests. I think we need to be ready for all kinds of curve balls being thrown at us," he admits.

"But at the same time, we talk a lot, and we are very transparent with each other. I think there is more to achieve together."

Last month, the German team took to social media to allay fans fears, insisting that a deal would be announced "soon".

"I plan to be here," they quoted Hamilton as saying. "I want to be here. I think we as a team have more to do together and more to achieve, both in the sport but even more outside of it."

Wolff also took the opportunity to wade into the debate over whether George Russell's performance in Sakhir has genuinely cast doubt on the whole 'is it the car or the driver' debate which some have used in discussions over whether the seven-time champion is the sport’s greatest of all time.

"It's not one dimensional," said the Austrian. "Formula 1 has always been about best man in best machine wins.

"The best men means the quickest driver, and the most intelligent driver," he continued. "He is the one that understands how the dynamics in a team works, its technical ability, and on the other side seeing himself in the right context within the organisation and not like a solar system where everything revolves around the sun.

"Equally, the organisation around the driver needs to be on its absolute A-game in order to deliver performance in the various areas," he added. "This means on the engineering side, on the commercial side, on the political side, and on the communication side, in order to keep the wheels rolling.

"This is a business without a silver bullet, contrary to what most people think, even within the industry. It's a business around marginal gains where everything needs to be in the right place for a team to be successful."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Spindoctor, 15/01/2021 13:24

"As in most things, time will tell....
I'm expecting to see Lewis back in the Mercedes, but if not, so be it.

I see the "it's all the car" brigade are on song again.
Surely chaps, if it were that easy, we'd all be doing it? Trivial matters such as historical reality don't seem to figure in their arguments. Following them to their illogical conclusions, Alonso would have beaten him decisively in the McLaren, Rosberg Jr would have 6 more WDC's & Bottas would be leading him home race after race....
That none of these things have happened suggests that maybe there's a bit more to it than simply the car being the star. Yes, he does drive the "best" car, and according to Wolf & Lauda Hamilton is a vital part of the Team which has created it.
In terms of salary I quite agree its ludicrous, but that's the world we live in - were Russel to get Lewis' seat & proceed to dominate F1 I suspect he'd be in line for the same.

His dominance may be "boring" but can't we all just accept that as in his historical context, Hamilton, like Stirling Moss, Jack Brabham, Jim Clark or Michael Schumacher before him is an exceptional talent."

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2. Posted by Greg, 13/01/2021 8:12

"@editor. I never intended to blame you personally. I did suspect some kind of tecnical glitch but. As i stated in my post before, if you do delete a post you always leave the notice because of breach of rules. the double or triple posting of the article, would explain that exactly. Hope tou get the tech. issue sorted out. Pitpass is the only news i read on F1 as it tells it like it should."

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3. Posted by kenji, 13/01/2021 1:03

"@ Suoerbird70...Thanks for your response. Yes, I'm fully aware of the 'one swallow' effect. The point I was making was simplistic And we all know that F1 is anything but simplistic so a correction there. My point was that Wolff has built a wall around Hamilton as that is where their big benefits lie. What that means is quite simple and it was exposed during the Russell experiment. Given the problems arising due to the haste of getting Russell into the car made the comparisons even more stark! Couple that with the next event where Hamilton, if he's to be believed, raced when he should not have even been in the car? There was no way he would contemplate Russell having another chance at totally obliterating the 'myth' in two consecutive races.Once can be laughed off as 'beginners lick' but twice! Then it gets serious.

It's a pity that that happened as we had a chance to see a ramped up challenge from Bottas which would have been exciting to watch [ possibly ] but then again, who knows? Randomness can sometimes be upset by determinism, if you get my drift...."

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4. Posted by Superbird70, 13/01/2021 0:27

"@kenji, You are correct. Toto is in a no lose position. Although it's not neccesarily a question of plug and play with respect to drivers, the goal of Mercedes is to win the Constructer's Championship. Getting the double is a bonus. Russell will give Bottas a run for the money, but one race does not a champion make. It will take a full season."

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5. Posted by Superbird70, 12/01/2021 21:35

"@Editor, Toto would understand."

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6. Posted by Editor, 12/01/2021 18:52

"Getting increasingly annoyed at the suggestion I had removed comments and then denied it, I was in the middle of writing to our technical guy when I recalled that for - totally unexplained reasons - the "Wolff not worried" article was duplicated at the weekend.

Absolutely no idea how this happened, but in ‘self-duplicating' the headline appeared five or six times in the timeline.

In a bid to fix this, I deleted one of the two (duplicate) articles, and I fear that this is the one with the comments that readers believed had been "removed".

Clearly, a cock-up within the system, but, again, I stress that no comments were knowingly removed.

I'm not Jack Dorsey."

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7. Posted by Editor, 12/01/2021 17:57

"I repeat.

No posts have been removed... certainly by me. And as the sole administrator absolutely nobody else could have removed any posts."

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8. Posted by Superbird70, 12/01/2021 17:11

"@Greg - you are correct. I posted after you I think."

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9. Posted by Greg, 12/01/2021 17:00

"@editor. I know comments have gone as i wrote one in response to the article and there were also two other comments. I dont believe you would have done anything to them as the disclaimer was not there as wouls normally be if they had been removed. Maybe i posted but didnt submit. Strange things. Anyway lets all hope 2021 is a great race year."

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10. Posted by Editor, 12/01/2021 11:58

"@ Greg

Re: "I notice the previous comments have all disappeared."

No comments have been removed. None."

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11. Posted by kenji, 12/01/2021 11:54

"@ Greg...Thank you. I have been pondering all this 'Hoo Har' re will Hamilton sign etc etc etc. I would be extremely happy if he simply 'snatched his rent'. He is boring,boring, boring. He simply drives off and is only glimpsed a few times until the last couple of laps. The best race of the last season was the one that he missed. It had some drama and excitement seeing a new face up front, giving it some serious 'wellie' and shaking the Mercedes boring racing up. That was excellent and enjoyable...for a change. Mercedes are spineless insofar as they protect Hamilton and to hell with the fans. They should man up and put a real driver in the other seat...then we may see some decent racing. They'd win the WCC in a canter but the WDC could possibly be a decent competition, for a change."

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12. Posted by Greg, 12/01/2021 8:47

"Well said @kenji. I notice the previous comments have all disappeared. He could easily be replaced by George. Salary cap is coming. That is most likely his departure date"

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13. Posted by kenji, 12/01/2021 7:30

"Of course Wolff is not worried. Hamilton is going nowhere. This is all about keeping the Mercedes/ Hamilton branding at the forefront of a hungry social media pack at a time when there is nothing happening race wise. I mean, where would he go? Who, in their right mind, would offer such a ridiculous salary for a driver who is replaceable by another one for a mere fistful of dollars? The point has been made numerous times. Russell put paid to the myth re man and car. No, Hamilton will be back and we'll all be subjected to the same old same old 'I'm so humbled, I only do it for all my fans and I never think about the money. I do it for fun'. As if .....hahaha
I only do it for my fans"

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14. Posted by Greg, 11/01/2021 8:20

"Give Lewis the ultimatum. Sign now or leave. We have George ready to go....."

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15. Posted by Simon in Adelaide, 11/01/2021 6:46

"I trust George Russell has his Mercedes race suit pressed and ready to go."

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