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Toto Wolff

Why Hamilton contract negotiations were 'tricky' for Wolff

Lewis Hamilton has been extended at Mercedes for another two years, but getting the deal across the line was “tricky”

Hamilton Singapore
To news overview © XPBimages

Toto Wolff has offered an insight into why contract negotiations with Lewis Hamilton were "tricky."

Earlier this month, Mercedes announced that it had reached an agreement with Hamilton to extend his deal until at least the end of the 2025 campaign, taking him beyond his 40th birthday.

Hamilton’s previous deal was set to expire at the end of the current season, theoretically making him a free agent for next year, but the team came to terms over a fresh deal, while also agreeing terms with George Russell to extend his stay.

The seven-time World Champion was expected to remain with Mercedes, the team he has raced for since 2013 and with whom he has enjoyed unprecedented success, but the news on the eve of the Italian Grand Prix weekend ending rumours over his future.

Speaking to media including RacingNews365, Wolff says that his lack of communication with Hamilton outside of race weekends made talks more difficult.

“The negotiations with Lewis are always different because we talk when we see each other and then sometimes we both disappear into different parts of the world, and then it’s tricky,” he said.

“We were pretty clear with the main terms before the summer.

“Then obviously you just need to put them in a contract with lawyers. That can be more tricky.”

Wolff on Russell

In addition to signing Hamilton to an extension, Russell has also been kept on board until the end of 2025.

Russell joined Mercedes last season after being associated with the team through its junior programme for several years and spending three years with Williams.

When questioned why Russell’s term was identical to Hamilton’s Wolff asserted that there is no reason why the Briton wouldn’t have a long-term relationship with the squad.

With George, we have such a long-standing relationship, since his junior days,” he added.

“There is no reason why it’s another ten years. We’ll see next time around.”

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