Lewis Hamilton leaves Mercedes ‘ready for curveballs’ in £120m contract dilemma
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Lewis Hamilton is leaving Mercedes "ready for curveballs”, according to team chief Toto Wolff, over his £120m contract dilemma.
The Brit has not yet signed a new deal with the team that he won a record-equalling seventh Drivers’ Championship with last season amid speculation of a retirement from motorsport.
There is confidence, though, is the F1 team that the 36-year-old will sign on for another three years at £40m per season.
But Wolff, who has been at Mercedes for seven years with Hamilton, does not share in his team’s confidence.
Speaking toAutosport.com , the F1 chief said: “It doesn't worry me at all, because I will always respect Lewis's decisions.
“Whether this is staying with us for a long time, or whether that means leaving the sport and pursuing different interests. I think we need to be ready for all kinds of curveballs being thrown at us.
“But at the same time, we talk a lot, and we are very transparent with each other. I think there is more to achieve together.”
Wolf did go on to praise Hamilton’s driving skills, which saw him overtake Michael Schumacher’s record of career Grand Prix wins for 95.
He added: “It's not one dimensional.
“Formula 1 has always been about best man in best machine wins. The best man means the quickest driver, and the most intelligent driver.
“[He is] the one that understands how the dynamics in a team works, its technical ability, and on the other side seeing himself in the right context within the organisation and not like a solar system where everything revolves around the sun
“Equally, the organisation around the driver needs to be on its absolute A game in order to deliver performance in the various areas.
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“This means on the engineering side, on the commercial side, on the political side, and on the communication side, in order to keep the wheels rolling.
“This is a business without a silver bullet, contrary to what most people think – even within the industry.
“It's a business around marginal gains where everything needs to be in the right place for a team to be successful.”
It comes as new owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has offered a contract solution for Hamilton that will save Mercedes money.
- Lewis Hamilton
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