Lewis Hamilton has practically been a free agent until last week when his contract with Mercedes for 2021 was announced. Wolff says a one-year deal was negotiated only because it was important to “get going” with preparations for 2021 as soon as possible.
“There are uncertainties in the world that affect the way the sport can operate that have an influence on our revenue, on TV monies, on sponsorship income,” the Austrian explained.
“Daimler and Mercedes are in a huge transformation towards electric mobility and that means investments, so we are living in a financial reality that is very different to what it was a few years ago.
“But having said that, we are totally in line, Lewis and me and the wider group in Mercedes, about this situation. So there was never any discrepancy in opinion.
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“It was just that we felt we’ve got to put a signature on the 2021 contract because we need to get going and then find some time during 2021, earlier than this time around, to discuss the future.
“And it’s not only specifically to 2022 but also beyond, and that is not something that we wanted to carve out via videoconferencing between Christmas and the end of January.”
Wolff also explains what made this year’s negotiations especially difficult.
“This time it was more complex because we couldn’t see each other. There were not huge gaps or discrepancies as to how we would see this new contract.
“So overall I think it was a few weeks that we spent on video conferencing every couple of days, and then the lawyers need to put that into a contract,” concluded Mercedes’ team boss.