The speculation is over, last Saturday we found out that Lewis Hamilton will continue to race for Mercedes until 2023.
However, while Hamilton’s contract extension for 2021 was announced very late, in February of this year, this time the announcement was made relatively early.
Toto Wolff explains what went into the negotiations.
“We printed the contract out yesterday night, signed it, and then we said we are announcing today,” the Austrian said.
“But we were pretty clear for a while about the most important pillars of the contract. It’s a hard fought championship, it needs all the concentration. And that’s why the announcement came so quickly.
“We just negotiated, and the winter seems like yesterday. And all the important points we already discussed, so it was basically copy/paste, extend the term to two years, decide on the detail of how we want to continue our joint foundation.
“And that was pretty much it.”
Wolff was asked if he found it surprising that Lewis wanted to commit for two more years, relatively early on in the season.
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“We were clear over the winter that we didn’t want to drag the next discussions for such a long time.
“He knows very well the state of the nation in the team, what we’re doing for this year’s championship, and the developments for next year.
“And it was clear that it was important to commit to the next two years, year number one of new regulations, and year number two. And for both of us, it’s good.
“He knows the team inside out, we know that his experience, his speed, his motivation is absolutely spot-on. And that’s why it was clear to continue.
“There was no difficult decision around money or term, it was more around what are the joint activities that we want to deploy, and continue our foundation work, and carve that out in the right way.”
Ultimately, the Austrian is happy that the deal is done, and Mercedes can now go back to fighting Red Bull and preparing for 2022, without any distractions.
“It is good that we have this sorted for the next two years. There is so much work and so many challenges that we need to solve that in a way we ticked one box, and that’s good.
“It gives us more capacity to look at other things,” concluded Mercedes’ team boss.