Toto Wolff says contract talks with Lewis Hamilton are moving along, but the Mercedes boss revealed that one of the drawbacks of his discussions with the Briton is the uncomfortable necessity for two friends to “discuss money”.
All signs point to Hamilton extending his tenure with Mercedes despite the team’s prolonged period of underperformance that started in 2022.
The Brackley squad’s current woes have also led to speculation that Hamilton could be tempted by a change of scenery and by a switch to Ferrari, a very unlikely prospect however.
Earlier this month, Wolff said that he had no reason to doubt that Hamilton and Mercedes would not renew their vows, and that any delays to the process are purely down to the usual inevitable back-and-forth discussions in such circumstances.
“These rumours [regarding a move to Ferrari by Hamilton] come up every two years when we have to sign a new contract,” Wolff told Austria’s oe24.
“But none of this is true. We discuss normally, without any time pressure.”
Negotiating a new contract can often introduce complexities into any relationship, and this is particularly true when close friends are involved.
In the case of Wolff and Hamilton, who share a strong friendship alongside their professional connection within Formula 1, discussing matters of money can be quite challenging.
The bond they share, described by the Mercedes boss as akin to “blood brothers”, adds emotional depth and an extra layer of sensitivity to these negotiations.
Navigating the delicate balance between ensuring a fair deal for both parties and preserving their close relationship can pose a significant challenge admits Wolff.
“It’s just uncomfortable that two friends, two blood brothers who have been through thick and thin for ten years, suddenly have to discuss money,” Wolff explained.
“I’m firmly convinced that we’ll find each other, there’s not a millimetre of doubt for me. I can’t imagine anything else.
“If we give Lewis a competitive car, he will win for a long time. Look at Tom Brady [and] what he was still capable of in his 40s.”
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