Wolff hopes to sort Hamilton future

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Published: Tuesday 18th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff is planning a quick resolution to Lewis Hamilton’s future once this weekend’s Formula One title decider is resolved.

Wolff has long made it clear he wants Hamilton to remain at Mercedes by signing an extension to a contract that expires at the end of next year.

Wolff, however, has previously further stated he would not allow any talks to impact on Hamilton’s focus whilst he fights with team-mate Nico Rosberg for a championship that has gone down to the wire.

Hamilton heads into Sunday’s race at the Yas Marina circuit with a 17-point cushion over Rosberg and knows a top-two finish is all he requires to claim a second title.

Come early next week, Wolff will then sit down with Hamilton and, he hopes, get him to put pen to paper on a new deal.

“We very much want him to stay for many more years,” said Wolff.

“He’s great for the team, part of the family and the relationship we all enjoy is more than a professional racing relationship between driver and team.

“It is on a different level and so our wish would very much be for that to continue for many more years.

“Of course, we agreed with each other not to sit down at a table and negotiate terms of a contract and numbers when what Lewis needed was to concentrate on his driving.

“We did that very consciously, even when the rumours accelerated around other drivers and our team.

“We sat down again and said ‘should we maybe take those conversations forward?’ We decided it was not the best thing to do.

“So on the Monday or Tuesday after Abu Dhabi we will sit down and discuss and hopefully find a solution quickly.”

Wolff and non-executive chairman Niki Lauda will now be dealing with Hamilton directly rather than via management company XIX Entertainment after the 29-year-old recently opted to drop Simon Fuller’s organisation.

Wolff feels that will not pose a problem, adding: “Lewis is a very intelligent and mature person now who knows more about Formula One than many other managers out there.

“I think he can represent himself in a good way, he has good support from consultants, be it legal, tax or whatever, so he has a good set-up around him and he’s a very clever guy.

“We have discussions around various topics very regularly. Last week, for example, we spent an hour discussing various commercial issues.

“He knows what he wants and is straight about it, so I think that is not at all detrimental to him. On the contrary it is more efficient for us.”

As far as Wolff is concerned, that is all part of the development of Hamilton’s character he has noticed since his arrival at the team.

“It is the way he has matured over the last two years, the way he has grown into the team,” assessed Wolff.

“He feels in a better place in his life, that he has sorted out some of his private issues.

“He also has a good relationship with the team, he feels at home and the personalities with whom he deals with have been open to him.

“Then there is the valuable contribution he brings to the team, not only as a racing driver, but as someone who motivates by embracing the team and giving us valuable inputs on the commercial side. I respect that a lot.

“The development of Lewis’ personality has been quite astonishing.”

Published: Tuesday 18th November 2014 by The News Editor

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