Hamilton: Wolff Mercedes future "not determining whether or not I stay"
Lewis Hamilton has said the future of Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff will not determine whether the six-time Formula 1 champion signs a contract extension into 2021.
Toto Wolff told the media on Friday that he is in a "moment of reflection" and is considering his position at the championship winning team. The Austrian clarified no decision has been taken yet, and that his thought process hadn't been kickstarted by the Covid-19 pandemic but is more a reaction to eight years of constant travelling with F1.
Hamilton previously said the future of Wolff would factor into his own personal decision as to whether to continue at Mercedes into 2021 or whether to look for a seat elsewhere or even to potentially call time on his glittering career. Now, the Briton has changed his tune.
Talking of the team ethic of Mercedes, Hamilton said: "What you’ve got to remember is that it’s a team of so many people. There’s almost 2,000 people in the team, or something like that. It’s not just down to one person, one individual.
"So yes, that’s not determining whether or not I stay. I think what we’ve built… I’ve been a part of growing with this team and growing with that growth.
"The strength is there through and through, so, as I said, it’s not just one individual."
Hamilton has raced in F1 since 2007 and has been with the Mercedes factory team since moving from McLaren in 2013. Knowing the stresses of working in the paddock, Hamilton backs Wolff's decision to pause and consider what is best for his immediate future.
He added: "I think everyone has to do what’s best for them. What’s best for their career and happiness at the end of the day. I think it’s smart for him.
"I think everyone needs to sit, take a moment and evaluate what they want to do moving forwards. Whether it suits them and their families and their future dreams. We’ve done so much already together in this period of time.
"I hope he stays because it’s fun working with him, and it’s fun negotiating with him and fun having the up and downs. So, I’m truly grateful to Toto and I’ll be fully supportive in whatever he decides to do."
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