Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, has disclosed that while the new contract solidifying seven-time Formula One world champion, Lewis Hamilton‘s engagement with the team is not officially finalized, the emotional commitment is intact. This comes as Hamilton, at age 38, continues to demonstrate exceptional performance on the track, proving his prowess recently in the final practice for the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix. A race Hamilton has dominated a record eight times.
Wolff explained to Sky Sports, “The status is we haven’t signed it [the contract] but emotionally we have done it.” He signified the understanding between Hamilton and the team, despite the physical absence of penned commitment. This prolonged discourse regarding Hamilton‘s contract has been a highlight within the sport, reminiscent of the driver’s past contractual negotiations.
In addition to his role as team principal, Wolff is also a co-owner of the Mercedes team. Earlier in the month, he elaborated to reporters that the negotiation for Hamilton‘s contract has maneuvered past initial issues concerning financial aspects. He asserted this after the Austrian Grand Prix, revealing that, “This is not a money discussion at all. It is about the future, what is it that we want to do right and optimize?”
Wolff implied that the conversation’s focus had shifted from practicalities such as duration and monetary value to more abstract considerations. He stated, “We’re not talking anything any more about duration, money, all of that, it’s other topics”, underscoring the broader perspective the parties are currently approaching.
While anticipation for the contract agreement builds, Hamilton has distanced himself from the nitty-gritty of the negotiations, entrusting the Mercedes team with the bulk of the work. He has opted instead to channel his energies on other ventures in his life. Hamilton recently expressed, “I’ve been removed from it from the beginning. I’ve been wanting to focus on all the other things I have going on. The team has been working on it in the background. There’s no negotiation left. It’s just all the small bits.”, signaling that in his perception, a conclusion to the sanctifying document is within sight.