ABU DHABI — Mercedes workforce boss Toto Wolff is not fearful about his star driver Lewis Hamilton talking to Ferrari amid speculation the six-time entire world champion could move to Maranello in 2021.
Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes is because of to expire at the end of 2020, which would leave him totally free to change to Ferrari if Sebastian Vettel’s deal is not renewed by Ferrari. Current stories in Italian media declare Hamilton has now fulfilled two times with Ferrari chairman John Elkann, and on Friday crew manager Mattia Binotto mentioned Hamilton’s unsure contract condition can “only make us pleased”.
Hamilton promises at ease pole posture in Abu Dhabi
Mercedes is getting ready to enter agreement negotiations of its have with Hamilton immediately after this weekend’s closing race in Abu Dhabi and Wolff mentioned he was not apprehensive by the news from Italy.
“I would be entirely Okay with that,” he reported about the assembly involving Hamilton and Elkann.
“This is a cost-free planet and I recognise that all people requires to discover profession possibilities and make the finest choice for by themselves — and this is for motorists and every person else incorporated.
“So I have zero complications, and racing drivers are often going to try out to be in the quickest doable auto, and the fastest group is often going to test to have the finest racing driver in their vehicle. There is a superior consensus concerning us of what we are trying to accomplish.”
Pushed on Binotto’s cryptic rates, Wolff continued to participate in down his concerns.
“I truly sat future to Mattia when he mentioned that in a push convention, and he was requested a dilemma about what he imagined of Lewis and he mentioned that he has the highest esteem for Lewis. You can also bet that if his chairman is meeting with him, he is not likely to converse poorly about Lewis both.
“So I am fully relaxed about the problem. We have to have to force extremely challenging to provide the drivers with the quickest probable motor vehicle, and if we are equipped to do this, I am 100 per cent certain we will have the finest achievable driver line up in the car or truck. Anything details to our partnership continuing, but in existence you in no way know and therefore, as I said prior to, I am extremely open up about this.
“I have started off to embrace the reality that everyone has objectives and demands to have the greatest feasible possibilities for his vocation. In that respect, I am completely open for everyone to check out possibilities.
“But clearly my particular precedence of the staff is to continue this successful journey and we have been seriously benefitting from an excellent romance, and if that finishes one particular working day I would be the to start with just one to cheer.”
Negotiating methods or a authentic present?
The condition leaves Hamilton in a sturdy place likely ahead. Regardless of whether he is in significant talks with Ferrari or not, it strengthens his hand in negotiations with Mercedes for 2021 and further than.
Speaking after he secured pole placement for the last race of the 12 months in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton mentioned he welcomed the optimistic comments from Binotto.
“I assume that is the first compliment I have experienced from Ferrari in these thirteen years [in F1],” he explained. “I really don’t recall them ever mentioning me ever. So thank you and I’ll choose it!
“It isn’t going to genuinely indicate everything, it’s all chat, but it really is wonderful that they are last but not least recognising me right after all these many years.
“I imagine it’s never ever a squander of time to be wonderful to an individual, and as I stated it has been a really long time and it’s a team I have always appreciated above the several years. So to make the respect from another person about there [at Ferrari] who is quite large up is not a negative point.
“I think they have bought two excellent motorists as it is and who appreciates what the driver sector is likely to be doing following yr. I am not seriously focused on that at this next, I want to finish this season strong. I have obtained this amazing group of men and women guiding me exactly where I am and I feel I owe it to them to give my heart and my strength a hundred percent, especially as I am still in deal and negotiations haven’t started out nevertheless.”
But Wolff says there is no rush to enter into talks. All but a few motorists — Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Racing Point’s Sergio Perez and Renault’s Esteban Ocon — are not verified at teams over and above 2020, that means selections are open up for equally teams and drivers.
“I know we want to have the strongest probable line up in 2021, but there is a entire 12 months to go and the silly time is heading to start soon. Discussions are likely to start off and no matter if we know our driver line up in April, July or October is not vital.”
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen would be an clear concentrate on for Mercedes if Hamilton leaves, but Wolff claimed his staff will not enter talks with one more driver just before it has clarity on the 6-time entire world champion’s long term.
“I believe the values in the staff are loyalty and integrity,” Wolff reported. “They are completely range a single on the record, and comprehending Lewis’ placement and objectives will be important for any final decision we take.
“So we will not embark on a fishing mission with prospective drivers out there in advance of Lewis and I have had that discussion and that has not taken location. That will consider spot after the time and we will see how that goes and we have a consensual marriage – so we require both equally sides to be content.”