Toto Wolff, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Imola, 2020

Hamilton’s last contract took 10 hours to negotiate – Wolff

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In the round-up: Toto Wolff says he doesn’t want to risk close contact with Lewis Hamilton over lengthy contract negotiations, due to concerns over Covid-19.

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What they say

Speaking ahead of last weekends’ race, Wolff said he expects contract negotiations between him and Hamilton to be a lengthy matter, based on how long the last one took:

The last time took 10 hours but then we had it done and we finished the day with pizza.

So the truth is, like like we’ve always said, there’s a lot of trust between us and we keep saying we’ve got to find a day but I think the championship is more important, the drivers championship. I completely understand that Lewis and Valtteri [Bottas] want to concentrate on that, and the constructors for us, and it kind of seems that we have to get that done and then find the time to sit down together.

And I don’t want to contaminate either of the drivers with Covid and if you spend so much time together, you know, the worst thing would be if they miss a race or more.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

On the topic of Red Bull’s power unit future, Erzen asks if their two F1 entries might prove irresistibly valuable, compared to the costs of developing on Honda’s intellectual property, to prospective teams wanting to avoid a $200 million entry fee?

It’s going to be interesting to see how this develops. If Red Bull does indeed pull both teams out of the sport, as they sometimes threaten to if they don’t get things going their way, any new entrant could buy the teams or their assets, and join the sport without having to pay the anti-dilution fee, that’s 200 million reasons for any potential entrant to be drooling at the idea of getting a free pass on one of the top F1 teams of the past decade.

Red Bull must be aware that they have to play by the rules, rather than change the game to suit their needs

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On this day in F1

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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18 comments on “Hamilton’s last contract took 10 hours to negotiate – Wolff”

  1. On the COTD I don’t think RB will leave as the advertising benefits would outweigh the running costs. RB have a history of whining and pointing fingers while pretending to be holier than though when the truth is some what different. But if they did decide to leave yeah it could be a less expensive way in for another player or two to get into F1. RB needed to stop complaining and get on with racing…or just leave!
    Much more famous and iconic teams have left F1 and it has survived RB have tickets on themselves if they think the sport revolves around them.

  2. I find Horner loathsome, but I think losing RBR would be really terrible for F1 and I really like and admire Dieter Materschitz. I believe he’ll stick around for the good of the sport, unless they’re required to bleed gigantic amounts or fall off from being at least a podium contender. He has sponsored so many sports, hobbies and historic properties and machines just for his love of those things.

    1. If Red Bull leave the sport, and that means Horner and Marko as well, I would not mind. However, if Red Bull can stay, that would be better. Horner and Marko need to be booted out of the sport after this year.

      1. @krichelle
        “Horner and Marko need to be booted out of the sport after this year.”
        If these 2 leave half of the press can pack their bags. Whiny commenters are a goldmine for sites like these, and Horner and Marko seem to attract a lot of whiny commenters.
        It’s not like the sport is still thriving on advertising revenue since the introduction of the hybrid era crap.

  3. Go Lewis go.

  4. I noted in Dieter’s (@dieterrencken) latest Racing Lines that besides Renault, Ferrari were also prepared to sell engines to Red Bull and AlphaTauri.

    1. Yes. But clearly RB is more interested in having control over its own engines as a works team. Not the first time they run this gambit @drycrust. Good that other teams call them out for what it is. They can do it, but will have to go in completely.

  5. All this technology in F1, and yet Toto Wolff has never heard of video conferencing.

    1. you’d need to have a super secure connection, and as we all know, nothing’s ever that secure.

      Wolf: Same again?
      Ham: OK but with more free time.
      Wolf: Ok but that means less money.
      Ham: How about less money and more shares.
      Wolf: Ok but that means more promotional work.
      Ham: How about we just do the same again.
      Wolf: agreed.
      Ham: agreed, i’ll have my lawyer call your lawers.
      Wolf: pizza?

      Ham: Great, as long as its not got dairy products, i’ve gone full vegan now you know.
      Wolf: what??
      Ham: Only Joking, yeah let’s do pizzas.

      1. The next day… the Tabloids leaks, “Hamilton Full Vegan” : concerned for Cows.

        1. So much for VPNs

  6. Re COTD
    “Red Bull must be aware that they have to play by the rules, rather than change the game to suit their needs”

    I guess the author of the comment forgot how EVERY INDEPENDENT TEAM got screwed in 2014 with the introduction of the hybrid era crap to suit the needs of a few car manufacturers? (Which ironically backfired since the hybrid crap is already obsolete before it’s even sold to the audience. Billions of dollars wasted on development of obsolete crap, and still we call F1 the pinacle of engineering, lol.)

    So, if the manufacturers are allowed to change the game to suit their needs, so is Red Bull

    1. Oconomo The manufacturers own the sport/business have done since 1894 yes I know F1 started in 1950 but you need to look at the big picture. Without the manufacturers there would be no Motor Racing!
      Please try to keep up :)

    2. hybrid engines are obsolete crap? ok, maybe you live in Monaco where everybody drives a Tesla, welcome to the rest of the world

  7. In one of Ted’s Notebook some years ago he stumbled on Hamilton, Lauda and Wolff sitting talking in the Mercedes Motorhome reception area, and when Lauda later came out was asked by Ted if they were talking contracts, and Lauda said yes, and then admitted outright he was helping Hamilton in the negotiations. In other words, Lauda was acting as Hamilton’s manager even if he was supposed to be on the other side of the table representing Mercedes as part owner and chairman. Even if Lauda never tried to hide he was an ardent Hamilton fan, this was shocking as it was bordering on corruption as he was literally ignoring his job and the interests of those who pay him. The way Wolff talks and how the contract renewal and negotiation is just a formality that can be quickly done at any time, it sounds it’s much the same with him as well.

  8. Toto says he does not want to contaminate either driver. The photos above says otherwise, same as the celebrations afterwards in winning the constructors championship. There are a few photos around the web of Toto with his arms around both drivers.

    1. or you could say the press doesn’t consider Botas photogenic
      you can’t hold Toto responcible for what the press considers new worthy.

    2. 10 hours chatting in a room is a little bit different to a 30 second embrace while outdoors…

Comments are closed.