Lewis Hamilton compared to Schumacher by David Coulthard
Lewis Hamilton’s new contract remains on Mercedes’ agenda, according to to Toto Wolff. However, while the Austrian is relaxed over the situation, he’s admitted the Silver Arrows ‘need to be ready for curveballs’ in talks. Hamilton was terrific in 2020, drawing level with the legendary Michael Schumacher on seven F1 Drivers’ Championships.
Hamilton continued his dominance of F1 in 2020, beating Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen to win the title once again.
But, in the aftermath of his latest triumph, his future with Mercedes has become uncertain.
Hamilton has been with the Silver Arrows ever since joining from McClaren in 2013 and, while he’s been dominant, his contract demands are reportedly complicating things.
Wolff, however, has now revealed Mercedes are relaxed about the Brit’s future.
But he has warned that they need to be ‘ready for curveballs’ and insisted that, should Hamilton fail to agree an extension, the team will be able to cope.
“It doesn’t worry me at all, because I will always respect Lewis’s decisions,” he told Autosport.com.
“Whether this is staying with us for a long time, or whether that means leaving the sport and pursuing different interests. I think we need to be ready for all kinds of curveballs being thrown at us.
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“But at the same time, we talk a lot, and we are very transparent with each other. I think there is more to achieve together.”
Wolff also hailed Hamilton, admitting his skills go beyond merely being the fastest driver.
“It’s not one dimensional,” the 48-year-old added.
“Formula 1 has always been about best man in best machine wins.
“The best man means the quickest driver, and the most intelligent driver.
“[He is] the one that understands how the dynamics in a team works, its technical ability, and on the other side seeing himself in the right context within the organisation and not like a solar system where everything revolves around the sun.
“Equally, the organisation around the driver needs to be on its absolute A game in order to deliver performance in the various areas.
“This means on the engineering side, on the commercial side, on the political side, and on the communication side, in order to keep the wheels rolling.
“This is a business without a silver bullet, contrary to what most people think – even within the industry.
“It’s a business around marginal gains where everything needs to be in the right place for a team to be successful.”
Meanwhile, former F1 star Jenson Button believes Hamilton is ‘definitely in the mix’ when it comes to being regarded as the greatest driver of all time.
“He’s definitely in the mix [for best ever],” Button told PlanetF1.
“Formula 1 is a very unusual sport. It is a team sport and that was proven when George Russell jumped in the Mercedes car.
“He is normally qualifying P15/P16 at Williams and then suddenly he is qualifying second to Valtteri Bottas and closer to what Lewis managed at the previous race when he was in the car.
“Then in the race, George gets past him and pulls away and was nine seconds ahead at one point. So it’s very difficult to judge the best driver because it is a full package thing.
“It’s car, it’s driver, it’s strategist, it’s making sure every mechanic is doing their job correctly, it’s pit stops, it’s a full team effort and that’s why I love Formula 1.
“But when you try and compare every driver and try and say is it more the car or driver, they are all pointless things because you can never answer that.
“But Lewis is definitely one of the best drivers that has ever driven in Formula 1.”
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