Mercedes: “No distractions” from Hamilton F1 contract amid title fight

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff said his team wanted to sort Lewis Hamilton’s new contract out as early as possible so it didn’t distract from its title ambitions.

Mercedes: “No distractions” from Hamilton F1 contract amid title fight

The German car manufacturer is locked in a super close fight with rival Red Bull for this year's championship, with its rival on a run of form after winning the last four grands prix.

With Mercedes clear that it needs to throw everything in to not letting Red Bull get away from its grasp, the possibility of protracted contract talks were not ideal.

So ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, Mercedes announced that it had signed Hamilton to a new two-year contract that will keep him at the outfit until the end of 2023.

Wolff said the team was always clear that it wanted Hamilton to stay, and that it wanted the contract matter finalised as early as possible.

“As we enter a new era of F1 from 2022 onwards, there can be no better driver to have in our team than Lewis,” said Wolff. “His achievements in this sport speak for themselves, and with his experience, speed and race-craft, he is at the peak of his powers.

“We are relishing the battle we have on our hands this year – and that’s why we also wanted to agree this contract early, so we have no distractions from the competition on track. I have always said that as long as Lewis still possesses the fire for racing, he can continue as long as he wants.”

News of Hamilton staying in F1 was welcomed by F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, who is well aware of the star attraction that the seven-time champion brings.

“This is fantastic news for Formula 1 and I am delighted that Lewis will stay In F1 for at least another two years,” said Domenicali.

“What he has achieved in this sport is incredible and I know he has more to come. He is a global superstar on and off the race track and his positive impact on Formula 1 is huge.”

Wolff’s comments about distractions hurting Mercedes came after Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto suggested last week that the Brackley-based squad had paid the price for staff instability and the late Hamilton contract ahead of this season.

“Already in the last year there have been significant internal changes, with roles that have perhaps been revised. Plus the signature with the driver that arrived only in February,” he said.

"I think they are signs of a distraction that has led to the current situation."

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton extends Mercedes F1 contract until end of 2023
Previous article

Hamilton extends Mercedes F1 contract until end of 2023

Next article

FIA clamps down on drivers waiting in Austria’s final corner

FIA clamps down on drivers waiting in Austria’s final corner
Load comments
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Prime

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021