Lewis Hamilton’s awkward response to F1 wage demands laughed off by team boss
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AlphaTauri’s team boss Franz Tost has claimed he “laughed” when Lewis Hamilton revealed he did not know who he was. Hamilton was quizzed in November on comments Tost had made about a potential pay cap for F1 drivers and there was an awkward moment when the Brit had to ask who he was.
In an interview with Speedweek, Tost advocated a pay cap of $10m, claiming drivers “should be happy that they have this job and that they also earn a little money”.
He said: “They earn way too much money.
“No spectators are allowed, FOM (Formula One Management) makes less money, and the teams make less money.
“I don’t see any reason why the drivers shouldn’t get less.
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“They should be happy that they have this job and that they also earn a little money.”
When asked about Tost’s comments, Hamilton asked “Who said that?” and when he was informed it was Tost, he asked “Who’s that?”
Now, in an interview with Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport, Tost has been asked about his reaction to Hamilton not knowing who he is.
“I laughed,” he said. “I don’t care if Lewis knows me or not.
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“I am interested that there is now a commission that discusses the salary cap of drivers.”
Hamilton signed a new one-year deal with Mercedes which is said to be worth around £40m but there have been serious talks about a salary cap being implemented.
The issue was raised at a recent meeting of the F1 commission and a statement from F1 and the FIA announced that a working group has been set up “to discuss the topic of driver and senior team management contracts.”
The statement read: “As 2021 sees the introduction of a cost cap for the first time in Formula 1, various topics around controlling costs and how this overall objective can be achieved over the coming years were tabled during the meeting.
“As part of this, a working group will be created – including the drivers themselves – to discuss the topic of driver and senior team management contracts.”
Speaking last year, Hamilton claimed a salary cap could ‘handicap’ future F1 drivers.
“I’m not personally opposed to it,” he said.
“I do think about the next up and coming young stars that are coming through and I don’t particularly see why they should be handicapped if they’re bringing something huge to the sport.”
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