Toto Wolff breaks silence on losing Lewis Hamilton ‘trust’

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg went from close teammates to bitter rivals during their partnership at Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg raced alongside each other from 2013-2016, with the Brit besting the German in three of their four years together. 

However, in 2016, Rosberg finally gained the upper hand, becoming the only driver to ever win the Drivers’ title while teammates with Hamilton.

The 2016 season saw the relationship between the two turn sour, as Hamilton repeatedly complained that reliability issues were plaguing his chances.

During the year, while frustrations grew between Hamilton and Rosberg, the Brit took his anger out on the team, publicly claiming that someone at Mercedes “doesn’t want me to win this year.”

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The accusations that there were people at Mercedes who were trying to manipulate the title race to give Rosberg the trophy caused problems back at the Silver Arrows’ home base.

While Rosberg would retire at the end of the 2016 season, walking away with his titleHamilton was left to repair his relationship with the team, something Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has revealed took some time.

“Trust is a bit of a topic for him and me, and you need to earn trust, test it and only then can you trust and we built it up over the years,” Wolff told ESPN.

“We had some tough moments, like in 2016, but we tackled it right away. It’s like [what] I have with Susie [Wolff, his wife] – if I have an issue you pick up the phone immediately and speak.

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“Everything is being discussed and you clear the air, or you agree to disagree. And with him since then we have been super strong.”

READ: Toto Wolff reacts to tensions between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell

The revelations about how Hamilton handled a tricky partnership comes as the Brit faces a challenge from George Russell, who is working to become the first teammate to outscore the seven-time world champion in consecutive seasons.

So far this season, Hamilton is ahead of Russell, due to the younger driver suffering a DNF in Australia.