Wolff Reveals Why Hamilton & Mercedes Opted For 1-Year Extension

Until Monday, Sir Lewis Hamilton was a free agent, with his Mercedes deal expiring at the end of 2020.

Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff Mercedes F1 - Formula1news.co.uk

The Mercedes F1 Team and Sir Lewis Hamilton finally announced that they had signed a new deal on Monday.

Unlike all of his previous Mercedes contracts, Hamilton’s latest extension is just for a single year.

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It was previously speculated that the Silver Arrows were pushing for this, while the seven-time World Champion wanted another multi-year deal, but according to Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, the contract length was mutually agreed.

“We jointly agreed on a one-year deal,” Wolff said.

“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.’”

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Continuing, Wolff suggested that the ultra-successful Mercedes-Hamilton partnership is likely to continue beyond 2021.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

The Austrian, who owns a third of the Mercedes F1 Team, also commented on reports that the Brit was pushing for a so-called “Verstappen clause” to give him more influence over who they run as his team-mate.

“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,” Wolff 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,” he concluded.

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