Wolff says money wasn’t a “sticking point” in Hamilton negotiations

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Toto Wolff confirms that, contrary to numerous reports in the media, money was not an issue in Mercedes’ contract negotiations with Lewis Hamilton.

The delay in Lewis Hamilton’s contract signing led to many rumours, reports and speculation that Lewis was demanding a pay raise, while Mercedes wasn’t willing to accept that.

After the deal has finally been signed, Toto Wolff explained money was never an issue, as Lewis understood the “difficult period” that the automotive industry and the world in general finds itself in.

“Lewis has always recognised that this is a very difficult period,” the Austrian explained.

“Difficult in the sense of difficult for everybody. Difficult from a health point of view. There’s much more important topics than F1 racing, and also that the auto industry is in a transformation phase.

“So, the money topic wasn’t the sticking point. It was more about letting us get going quickly for 2021.

“We respect that a sportsperson has a shelf-life and that you need to optimise the outcome whilst being active.

“But on the other side, Lewis has a global perspective of what is going on out there and he always recognised that.”

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Furthermore Wolff confirms that both parties’ interests have been aligned.

“We have always been quite aligned of what the other side would expect.

“For me, he’s the best driver. He has a huge global following, much beyond the racing fan and he has won seven championships without making major mistakes in the last few years.

“Like many in the team and the wider organisation, he’s an important pillar of the success.

“On the other side, Lewis recognises that he’s one of 2000 that we have within our team and that it’s not two superstars, but we are 2000 superstars. And each of us contributes to the team’s success.

“Because he has this helicopter perspective from the wider world out there, it was a very tough year for us personally, from a health standpoint, and also from an economical standpoint, so he knew that even though he has delivered on his side, there is an economical reality out there that is important to respect,” concluded Wolff.

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