Toto Wolff, the team principal of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 team, has echoed Lewis Hamilton’s comments about the British driver’s contract with the team beyond the 2021 season.
The Austrian, like Hamilton, is also keen for the new deal to be sorted sooner rather than later. Both parties are keen to avoid the delays that were witnessed during the negotiations of the current deal – which Hamilton only signed in February this year.
Hamilton has made it clear that he intends to stay in F1 beyond 2021 and after taking his third win of the campaign in Spain; the British driver expressed his desire to begin talks over a new deal with Mercedes. He is hoping an agreement can be reached before the summer break in July.
Wolff believes a day or two together should allow them to discuss the major hurdles during a contract negotiation, and is hopeful that this time around they can agree a deal longer than the current one-year contract. He also made it clear that he is ready to lock the door and let Hamilton out only when the dotted line is signed.
“Yes, it should be,” Wolff said when the new deal will be a multi-year one, as quoted on GP Fans. “We don’t want to be in a stressful situation every single year where we are absolutely flat out trying to win races and needing to negotiate. I would rather that doesn’t happen every year.”
“We just need to spend a day or two together, put it out there, and decide which the difficult components are,” he added. “We will then lock the door and won’t walk out until it is sorted. That works best for us and it has worked best for us in the past. “
Wolff has been full of praise for Hamilton in recent weeks following the Briton’s impressive drives to secure three race victories in the first four races. The dominance is despite Mercedes’ struggles in pre-season, when they were clearly behind Red Bull in the pecking order.
The Mercedes team principal went on to compare Hamilton to Tom Brady, who at 43, won his seventh Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this year. Wolff is certain that the seven-time F1 world champion, 36, can also continue in F1 well into his 40’s.
“Yes, absolutely. I have no doubt about that. He is so disciplined that in a way it is inspiring,” Wolff said. “As long as Lewis continues to look after himself mentally and physically, continues to develop cognitively, then he can go on for much longer.”