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
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Prime

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Prime

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Prime

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Prime

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains Ben Edwards, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car.

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Prime

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
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