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
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
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…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021