2016 Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg believes Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff would’ve been relieved by Lewis Hamilton signing a new deal, given the issues him leaving would’ve caused.
Hamilton and Wolff took several months to agree over a new contract, before it was finally confirmed ahead of the Italian Grand Prix that the seven-time World Champion would be staying until the end of 2025.
At the same time, it was also confirmed that George Russell’s deal had been extended by a further season, meaning the Mercedes line-up will remain unchanged for two more seasons.
The length of time it took Hamilton to sign his two-year extension was seen as very odd by many, given that himself and Wolff had told the media countless times that a deal would be sorted.
Some questioned whether Hamilton wanted more money or whether he was seeing if the team was going in the right direction before agreeing to staying, both of which turned out to be false.
Wolff confirmed that actually all the “major terms” were agreed upon well before the summer break, with it having just been one tiny detail holding things up.
“Lewis and I were clear on the major terms in June, July,” Wolff said, as reported by The Mirror.
“Things were just dribbling along, bubbling along slowly. Then it was summer break. In the end, it was about marketing – not really the big relevant topics. That took a bit of time.”
With Hamilton’s future at Mercedes now being confirmed, Rosberg believes it’ll help Wolff maintain a stable ship.
The former Mercedes driver is convinced that the team boss would’ve become increasingly stressed the longer it took Hamilton to sign the contract, despite him coming across as a relaxed individual to the media.
Wolff has avoided a “big problem” in Rosberg’s eyes by the 103-time race winner agreeing to continue with the side, given that they now don’t need to search for a new driver until 2026 at the earliest.
“I think just stability, calmness because it always leads to uncertainty even in the leadership, ‘Ah, Lewis has not signed yet’,” Rosberg told Sky Sports.
“It puts stress, stress because what if Lewis suddenly decides, ‘I actually prefer to go surfing at the beach’?
“That would be a big problem then. So it does put stress, especially probably on someone like Toto, even though he wouldn’t show it because he’s an incredibly good negotiator, and pretty cold, but inside it certainly put stress.”