Wolff explains Hamilton one-year F1 deal, no veto clause

Toto Wolff says the decision to only agree to a one-year contract extension with Lewis Hamilton was the result of them wanting time to finalise a longer deal.

Wolff explains Hamilton one-year F1 deal, no veto clause

Mercedes ended weeks of speculation on Monday when it announced that Hamilton would be staying for another season with the F1 team.

But the fact that the German car manufacturer and Hamilton only agreed to a single-season contract prompted some surprise, and fuelled talk that 2021 could be the British driver’s last season in F1.

Speaking to media on Monday, Wolff explained the background to the contract length – and made clear that there was a desire from both of them to delay lengthier discussions regarding 2022 and beyond until the season got going.

Wolff said that complications caused by both of them catching coronavirus, which derailed hope of talks taking place towards the end of last season, forced a change of plan.

“We jointly agreed on a one-year deal,” said Wolff. “First of all, there is a substantial regulation change in 2022. We also want to see how the world develops, and the company. Plus on the other side, it's because we kept it very late.

“We wanted to discuss the contract at the end of the season between the Bahrain races and then obviously, Lewis didn't feel well. And in the end, we started our conversation, just before Christmas.

“So it was important to get it done as soon as possible. And in that respect, we thought, let's postpone the discussion about 2022 and onwards to a later stage in 2021.”

Read Also:

Wolff said that the ongoing uncertainties about the impact of coronavirus on F1, and especially in relation to team budgets, meant that it was difficult to make certain commitments now about a longer term contract.

That is why he feels contract talks next summer regarding 2022 and beyond will be much clearer – and will allow time for proper discussion.

“There are uncertainties in the world that affect the way that the sport can operate, that have an influence on our revenue, TV monies, and on sponsorship income.

“Daimler, Mercedes, is in a huge transformation towards electric mobility and that means investments. So we are living in a financial reality that is very different to what it was a few years ago.

“But having said that, we are totally inline, Lewis and me and the wider group at Mercedes about the situation. So there was never any discrepancy in opinion.

“It was just that we felt we could get a good signature on the 2021 contract because we just need to get going and then find some time during 2021, earlier than this time around, to discuss the future.

“And it's not only specifically to 2022, but also beyond. And that is not something that we wanted to carve out via videoconferencing between Christmas and the end of January."

Read Also:

Wolff also rubbished any talk of Hamilton demanding a driver veto in his contract to avoid being partnered with another superstar driver like Max Verstappen.

He also said that suggestions pay talks had hit a sticking point over a potential revenue share of Mercedes incomes were totally made up.

“On the specific clauses that were out there in the media, I don't know where they came from because none of that is true,” he said.

“I actually read about this, and I found it interesting, but the truth is that there was not one second of discussion about any driver specific clause. He has never asked for that in the last eight years. And it's a team decision.

“And the other clause about a revenue share. That came out of nowhere. That rumour was baseless, too. So none of that was ever part of our discussions.”

shares
comments

Related video

Peugeot WEC signing Magnussen rules out Haas substitute role

Previous article

Peugeot WEC signing Magnussen rules out Haas substitute role

Next article

Grosjean "surprised" by Alpine's management shake-up

Grosjean "surprised" by Alpine's management shake-up
Load comments
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Prime

Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Prime

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of "glory" if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1's other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021