Toto Wolff, team principal of the Mercedes Formula 1 team, has said that while there will be plenty of talk of an eighth title for Lewis Hamilton, it's not something that is going to play on either his or the team's minds.
Hamilton signed a one-year deal that will see him suit up in Mercedes colours for a ninth season as well as extend the relationship between driver and team to include a joint commitment to improve diversity and inclusion within the sport. However, previous reports had suggested Hamilton was haggling for a multi-year deal, leading to questions about whether it would be eight then vacate for the Brit.
"If you start to spend too much time on an eighth title, you forget than in-between there are 20 or so races that you need to finish in the best possible outcome," Wolff told select member of the press, including RacingNews365.com. "Of course, the eighth title is out there but it’s not something that is going to play on his mind a lot nor does it play on our minds a lot because we need to concentrate on the job."
The seven-time world champion made his F1 debut back in 2007 and seems to be approaching the latter years of his career, but Wolff insists that was not a factor in the negotiations.
"I don't think this was the hard topic." Wolff continued. "We respect that a sportsperson has a shelf life and that you need to optimise the outcome while being active. But on the other side, Lewis has a global perspective on what is going on out there and he always recognised that. For various reasons - him having corona, both of us being away, me having corona - it was very difficult to sit down and have talks.
"What was important was to get going for 2021, to decide on the contribution to the charity and how we would jointly run it, and then to not wait as long to discuss this year 2022 and onwards."