Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he would understand if the driver wanted to leave the team -Dlight News

Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he would understand if the driver wanted to leave the team

Toto Wolff has admitted that Lewis Hamilton “needs to consider” joining other teams in future if Mercedes cannot provide him with a winning car.

Hamilton has won six of his seven drivers’ titles since joining Mercedes in 2013, but with the team set to be out of contention for the championship for a second successive season, there has been growing speculation about the Briton’s future.

Mercedes and Hamilton have yet to agree an extension to his current contract, which expires at the end of this season, but the 38-year-old said on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix that he does not “plan” to leave.

“I don’t think Lewis will leave Mercedes,” Wolff said after watching Hamilton and his teammate Russell finish more than a second behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in first practice in Jeddah.

“He is at the stage of his career where we trust each other, we have formed a great bond with each other, we have no reason to doubt each other even though this is a difficult period.

“It will be so nice when we come out of this vale of tears and put on solid performances again.

“As a driver, if you want to win another championship, you need to make sure you have the car, and if we can’t show that we can give you the car in the next few years, then you need to look everywhere. I don’t think it’s at that stage, but it’s not I would complain if that happens in a year or two.”

The debate over Hamilton’s future was fueled by comments from the Briton after he finished 50 seconds behind Verstappen in Bahrain, when he said the people at Mercedes had not listened to him regarding the development of their W14 car.

Wolff says he and Hamilton 'wear our hearts on our sleeves'

Wolff says he and Hamilton ‘wear our hearts on our sleeves’

Wolff also made notable comments in Bahrain, accepting that the team’s design concept had failed and they would now move in a different direction.

Asked if he had spoken to Hamilton about the driver’s comments in Bahrain, Wolff said: “We talk all the time, but it’s not just one word that matters in the team.

“Because we know each other so well, we know there are emotions at stake with him, with me, with many others on our team, we wear our hearts on our sleeves.”

Hamilton: There is no plan to leave Mercedes

Hamilton, who remains highly motivated in pursuit of a record eighth world championship, reiterated his commitment to Mercedes when he addressed the media on Thursday.

“I still 100% believe in this team, it’s my family and I’ve been here a long time so I don’t plan to go anywhere else,” he said.

Hamilton also explained that ongoing discussions about a contract extension are focused on off-court initiatives, as opposed to performance.

“There are no performance clauses,” Hamilton said. “We’re in talks, just in the process of going through the motions of what that looks like, what the future looks like, what we want to do.

“(We are) always looking to continuously challenge ourselves rather than just do a driver contract like everyone else does.

“What can we do? We did the Ignite partnership last year on how we can promote diversity within the sport, just exploring different avenues and what else can we do.”

“I am fully integrated into Mercedes-Benz. I have been with them for a long time, since I was 13 years old, so I am very proud of the brand and the business, what they do, what they stand for and the impact they have on the whole world, but more can always be done, so the discussions revolve around what else we can do together to help people.

Brundle: There are problems at Mercedes

Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle offers his analysis on Mercedes’ early season struggles and the uncertainty surrounding Hamilton’s future.

“It’s very unusual for Toto and Lewis to be anything other than super positive about the Mercedes team, but there are problems there. The car is not fast and speaking to some people in the team, it will be a while before they are fixed.” Clearly, the boss is not happy. Toto wears his heart on his sleeve and can get angry when he’s not happy.

“For all the glory, adjusting this will be the biggest test of Toto’s tenure. Keeping the right people involved, bringing in new talent and energy and not upsetting others. He needs to keep Lewis on board.”

“Toto has been talking for a while about maybe stopping doing all the racing and putting other people in his place. Even before these issues, I don’t think he saw himself as the leading person in that team for the next few years. seven years”.

“If you suggest to Toto that he inherited a winning team and all he did was take the glory, I’d be inclined to be ready to run fast! You can’t take away from them the magnificent victories and championships they had, they had a supreme unit of power that The former beat them, they had to work hard for the latter.

I am very careful when it comes to criticizing teams and management. There are boulevards of thousands of smart people working on two racing cars. You see the resources, the skills, and the knowledge, so maybe it just needs a little adjusting, but it can be a rush when things start to go wrong. [in terms of] keep morale high.”

“They [Mercedes] they were discouraged after Bahrain and have a long hard job. They are way behind. Lewis even said that Red Bull have won this unless Ferrari can attack them. That’s where it is.

“I think Lewis feels the philosophy of the car is wrong and they weren’t listening to him last year. He’s backtracked on that a bit and said he didn’t choose his words wisely, but they were the words he used at the beginning. time. Lewis is very intelligent and thinks carefully about what he says.”

Watch the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend with Sunday’s race live at 5pm Get Sky Sports

Source link