Wolff says Hamilton is not distracted, wants to extend his contract

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton‘s involvement in the fight against racial injustice is not distracting him from Formula 1.

Lewis Hamilton has been very vocal and involved in the fight against racial injustice and his support for the Black Lives Matter movement, even attending a London protest recently. Wolff reveals Hamilton was also the person behind the all-black Mercedes idea.

“Lewis called me and said how much he cares about the Black Lives Matter movement,” Wolff said.

“I said ‘What can we do?’ and he said ‘Paint the car black’.

“I called our paint shop, the Daimler board and all of the sponsors and went back to Lewis and said ‘We have a black car’.”

However Wolff completely denies Hamilton’s activities outside of Formula 1 are affecting his focus.

“Do you remember Singapore two years ago,” Wolff asked the Osterreich newspaper.

“Lewis had been to fashion shows in Hong Kong, New York and London and people asked me ‘How can you allow that?’ Lewis gave his answer with an incredible qualifying lap.

“He can manage his resources incredibly well. So I’m not worried at all. The moment he gets into the car, there is only racing.”

Having not yet signed a contract extension, people are naturally asking questions about Hamilton’s future beyond 2020. With Sebastian Vettel becoming a free agent the media is suggesting the German might end up at Mercedes.

To add to that, rumours came out that Lewis is looking for £40m per season, while Mercedes is only willing to pay £20m due to the effects of the coronavirus crisis. These rumours are, of course, completely unsubstantiated and Wolff himself says the team’s priority are their current drivers.

“I assume that we will continue with Lewis and Valtteri,” Wolff told Sky Deutschland.

“I do not want to write Sebastian off, but we are very happy with our drivers. I like Sebastian a lot. He’s my neighbour in Switzerland and one of the great drivers of F1.

“But at the moment our priorities lie with Lewis and Valtteri. We would very much like to extend their contracts,” concluded Wolff.

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