Hamilton deal won't be signed until Mercedes improve - Wolff

Wednesday, 02 may 2018, 13:24 , by Matthew Scott

Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes contract will not be signed until the team solves their sluggish start to the 2018 season, says Toto Wolff. Hamilton secured the Silver Arrows' first victory of the year at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but it was far from a vintage performance from the four-time champion.

Although Hamilton qualified second, he was unable to challenge Sebastian Vettel significantly for pole and then failed to take the fight to the German come Sunday.

The race turned away from Vettel under the safety car and to the consistent Valtteri Bottas, only for a heart-breaking puncture to deny the Finn and allow Hamilton to stroll to a win he had never looked capable of.

Hamilton's deal with the constrictors' champions expires at the end of the year and he had been expected to renew before the season started in Australia, however it remains unsigned.

Hamilton said before the Baku race that he remained committed to extending his stay with Mercedes, but Wolff says the team's priorities have changed in the early weeks of the season.

"We haven't talked for a few days or weeks because it was so intense in getting our act together with the team and all our priority has been concentrated on that," Wolff said.

"This is what we do, we are very well aligned in what we expect from each other in the future and it's just finding the time to sit down."

Hamilton's victory was hollow in part for the Silver Arrows owing to Bottas' misfortune, but Wolff said it was a weekend to forget in terms of their attempts to close the gap to Ferrari.

"I think the feeling that prevails all of us is that we didn't have the pace through the weekend that we need to have," Wolff admitted. "It was Valtteri's race to win. But then I think he [Hamilton] just got his Melbourne victory back from his perspective.

"This is how you must see it. It doesn't take away the emotion and brutality on Valtteri which gives us a bittersweet feeling about the result and equally the lack of pace we had.

"Luck is part of the sport and the safety car went against us in the past and Sunday it gave us a win. It still doesn't feel right for two reasons.

"The first reason is that we lacked the pace and the second reason is that the quickest guy on track didn't finish with a puncture that was caused by debris on track three laps to the end."

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Comments (27)

  • Abdul Lateef
    What if they don't? Vettel can't see him as a team mate and he got no other team which can be as good as Merc and Ferrari.
  • Christian Iannotta
    He’s driving poorly, somehow magically still in first and still complains it’s someone else’s fault
  • Shahrulilahi Erolf
    Lewis is a big asset to mercedes..for me lewis did a very good job...this seasons will yours again
  • Gerardo Morales Elox
    Get rid of him already, I don't understand why Mercedes is putting up with his bullshit race after race
  • Richard Provost
    They gave you multiple Championships but it’s them that need to improve?
  • Ana Pramulia Perdana
    maunya cuma pake mobil yg jauh lebih kenceng dari rival, setara pun gak mau
  • Philip M Peacock
    Could this put him in another seat next year with Ricciardo possibly moving to Ferrari?
  • Mike Sirochman
    Where else would he go that can give him a car as good consistently? McLaren?
  • Per Axblom
    Lower your salari and the can hire 50 technicians and improve.
  • Sean Wampole
    Looks like Ricardo will have a place to go next year.
  • Richard Toomer
    No great loss...let’s see how he does in a Sauber or a Williams
  • Andrew Bullers
    They win year after year...yet this guy STILL complains.
  • Emanuel Ashta
    Armando Kola welcome to ferrari soon xp
  • Dee Paterson
    Give Bottas a new contract, he has earned it.
  • Buysse Marc
    cry baby all the way !! go home Lewis
  • Kristian Finn
    Troy Brudenell Adrian Finn interesting
  • Tony Beaumont
    What a entitled arrogant shithead
  • Edwin Gill
    Really, Bottas as #2 does just fine.
  • Stephen Smart
    Don’t sign!! Just fuck off!!
  • John Parnell
    Read the article moron haters

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