Hamilton's F1 commitment never wavered despite struggles - Wolff

Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton’s commitment to Mercedes never wavered despite its early-season struggles, meaning he gave no consideration to sounding out other Formula 1 drivers about a drive.

Hamilton's F1 commitment never wavered despite struggles - Wolff
Listen to this article

Mercedes saw its form take a dip at the start of the 2022 season as it struggled to get to grip with the new technical regulations, encountering severe bouncing with its W13 car.

The issue left Hamilton far from his usual competitive territory, dropping out in Q1 in Saudi Arabia and failing to score points at Imola.

While Mercedes has recovered some of its performance, Hamilton is yet to win this season, the 13-race run being the longest he has gone into a campaign without a victory.

But Mercedes F1 boss Wolff dismissed any suggestion Hamilton's commitment could have wavered or that he explored other driver options in the case the seven-time world champion decided to call it quits.

"I've not been in touch with any other driver," Wolff told Motorsport.com in an interview ahead of the summer break.

"Lewis and I, even if the season would have gone wrong, we would have at least under the principle of hope, stayed together next year.

"And [for] a couple of months, we're talking [if] this going to go five or 10 years. So none of that is true.

"I haven't been in touch actively or reactively [with anyone] about a drive with us going forward."

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1st position, and Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG, celebrate after the race

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1st position, and Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG, celebrate after the race

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Hamilton agreed a new two-year deal with Mercedes in 2021, tying him to the team until the end of next season alongside young teammate George Russell.

Hamilton has spoken regularly about the efforts being made at Brackley to dig deep and get Mercedes back in the fight, saying the difficulties have been a "valuable lesson" for the team.

Wolff said that Hamilton went through a period of "acceptance of this as the new reality" in the early part of the year when the severity of Mercedes' struggles became clear.

"That's certainly not a joyful experience, but after the first few races, he was very special," Wolff said.

"He got settled in a situation that was all about how can we move this car back to the front.

"And even when I was not at my best, he was the most positive person in the room, building everyone up even if driving this car is a handful."

Read Also:

Hamilton was tasked with running experimental set-ups on his car during a number of practice sessions in the early part of the season in a bid to try and understand the problems with the W13.

Wolff felt it was "important to push for these extreme solutions" to try and remedy the struggles as both Hamilton and Mercedes found themselves in a new position trailing their rivals.

"In December, we raced for a world championship, and four months later, we have a car that is not championship material," Wolff said.

"So everyone - drivers, engineers, management - need to just find the ground and say, OK, this is the reality now, what are we doing about it?

"You can't just flip the switch and say, OK, no problem, we're going to work ourselves out of it."

shares
comments

Related video

The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season
Previous article

The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season

Next article

Bottas feels greater "human effect" on F1 car performance at Alfa Romeo

Bottas feels greater "human effect" on F1 car performance at Alfa Romeo
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Prime

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

Stuart Codling charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Prime

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded Maurce Hamilton of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Prime

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination.

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Prime

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023, which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall Prime

The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall

Looking back to the early races of 2022 and Ferrari’s challenge to Red Bull and Max Verstappen was going better than many expected. But it has lost so much ground a surprise rival can even pip Charles Leclerc to runner-up in the standings if given the chance

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2022
The F1 podium-finisher that gave Jordan stability in a year of chaos Prime

The F1 podium-finisher that gave Jordan stability in a year of chaos

The Hart-powered Jordan 194 gave the team hope that the good times were just around the corner. Its 1994 steed wasn’t the start of a move up F1’s pecking order - even if the car did earn the Silverstone team a first pole position. But, as STUART CODLING explains, it did provide a platform for Jordan to become a manufacturer-supported squad.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2022
BRM V16: How F1's greatest sound has returned to the track Prime

BRM V16: How F1's greatest sound has returned to the track

The first of three new BRM V16s is bringing the greatest-sounding engine to a new audience – and back to the race track - at the Goodwood Revival this weekend. Here is the story of the ambitious 1950 Formula 1 project's resurrection for historic competition

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2022
The juggling act that makes up an F1 team principal’s weekend Prime

The juggling act that makes up an F1 team principal’s weekend

Have you ever wondered what a Formula 1 team principal actually does at a grand prix? GP RACING followed Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack to open a window into the TP’s race weekend world…

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2022