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Wolff hints at Hamilton influence over team-mate for 2022

Wolff hints at Hamilton influence over team-mate for 2022

F1 News

Wolff hints at Hamilton influence over team-mate for 2022

Wolff hints at Hamilton influence over team-mate for 2022
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Toto Wolff has hinted Lewis Hamilton will be involved in deciding the second half of Mercedes' 2022 driver line-up.

Seven-time F1 champion Hamilton is expected to extend his stay with the German manufacturer into the new era of the sport next year, with the second seat seemingly a straight battle between Valtteri Bottas and Williams driver George Russell.

After Hamilton stated he saw "no need to change" the partnership between himself and the Finn ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix weekend, Wolff revealed the team would listen to what he had to say.

"Well, Lewis is part of the team and has always been in the circle of decision making because simply, we value his opinion," said Wolff.

"In the same way, when we are talking about drivers, there is nothing we are not sharing with him, it is transparent but the other way around too.

"When I speak to Valtteri, it is open and when I speak to George, it is open because we don't want to have any hidden agendas. We need to evaluate the decision for the future.

"Valtteri has had some really good weekends but also had some off weekends and we just need to minimise those and then we will take a decision.

"Whatever decision we will be taking, Valtteri or George, the person that is involved in that will be hearing that first and that is the driver."

Hamilton contract talks have "no stumbling blocks"

Hamilton also stated negotiations on a deal were underway, in stark contrast to last year when they were left so late they were not concluded until early February.

Wolff revealed talks were "very laid back", adding: "It is going well. We are just discussing.

"There are no stumbling blocks. It is just about agreements which is something that takes a few days longer so good talks."

Asked whether the hunger was still there for the Briton, Wolff replied: "[He is] very hungry.

"There are new situations for him also that it is so tight in the battle with another team and another driver and I see him in very good spirits."

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