Wolff wants Hamilton/Mercedes deal 'this year' as Lewis readies the tequila

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admits he and Lewis Hamilton must come to an agreement on his new contract before the end of 2020.

Both men are currently without a deal for 2021, but whereas the Austrian appears set to at least alter his role as team boss, the future of the six-time world champion look set to remain largely the same.

And indeed, while Toto did make the eye-catching comment about not wanting to wait too long to secure Hamilton's signature, he is equally relaxed about the situation.

“It must be this season. You can’t start a new year without knowing what your driver line-up is,” he told Channel 4.

Also Read:

“Having said that, I’m pretty sure it’s going to continue like it is.

“With the intensity of this season we just didn’t have the time to spend the day properly with each other because you want to recover in those days between.

“We keep it pretty loose, and at a certain stage we’ve already said we’ve got to sit down and take the old contract out that we haven’t looked at since three years ago and say ‘okay, what do we want to change in that?'”

Back at Spa, Hamilton also commented on the upcoming talks.

“I’ve been really fortunate, I’ve been negotiating my contract for the last two or three and each time naturally learning a lot through the process," he said.

“I’m not one to always just continue to do the same thing, so of course always looking at every detail, making sure every time I do my due diligence, making sure I understand that as we continue to grow together as a team that our values, goals and ambitions continue to stay aligned.

“So that’s what you generally go through, to see how things could work better, how you can both get more out of it – whether it’s the performance with sponsors, performance on track and how we work with engineers, whether it’s more time in the sim, lots and lots of different things.

“Then once you get all those small details out of the way then it comes to the big questions.

“It’s not Toto and I’s first rodeo together. I think it’s an enjoyable experience but we are definitely happy when it’s done and we can have a drink together," he added.

“What I do know is I’ll have some tequila aside to give him a shot afterwards… maybe I should give him the tequila before to relax him up!”

One area where negotiations might be a little more intense is the topic of salary with teams looking to save some money in the wake of Covid-19.

“He [Hamilton] was always the highest-earning driver of his generation and he always will be,” Wolff confirmed.

“What we have allowed him to do is to follow his other hobbies and passions. We totally embrace his way of living, his travelling, which is totally different from any of the other racing drivers, and I respect that.

“The deal is performance. The performance from our side, to bring him a car that is able to win, and performance from his side to be the quickest driver out there, and he’s never failed to do that and I hope we’ve never failed him either.”