Mercedes are yet to confirm contracts for both drivers in their 2021 line-up as nothing concrete has yet been announced regarding the negotiations to renew Hamilton’s contract. There have been a few rumors about the process not being as straightforward as it was initially expected to be. Mercedes team principal has now spoken about this situation to Motorsport
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0:00 - Toto Wolff Feels The “Need To Be Ready For All Kinds Of Curve Balls”
2:03 - Regarding Hamilton
Wolff started by explaining how F1 isn’t about one thing
“It's not one dimensional. Formula 1 has always been about best man in best machine wins. The best men means the quickest driver, and the most intelligent driver”
“Equally, the organization around the driver needs to be on its absolute A-game in order to deliver performance in the various areas. This means on the engineering side, on the commercial side, on the political side, and on the communication side, in order to keep the wheels rolling”
Wolff then stressed that Hamilton does not see himself as the center of everything at Mercedes
“[He is] the one that understands how the dynamics in a team works, its technical ability, and on the other side seeing himself in the right context within the organization and not like a solar system where everything revolves around the sun”
He reiterated the need to be better at even the finer details of the sport
“This is a business without a silver bullet, contrary to what most people think - even within the industry. It's a business around marginal gains where everything needs to be in the right place for a team to be successful”
He further added that he isn’t worried that Hamilton might suddenly quit the team like Nico Rosberg did in 2016 but accepts the fact that they have to be ready for all eventualities
“It doesn't worry me at all, because I will always respect Lewis's decisions. Whether this is staying with us for a long time, or whether that means leaving the sport and pursuing different interests. I think we need to be ready for all kinds of curve balls being thrown at us”
He summed up his words by hinting that the future has more in store for the partnership
“But at the same time, we talk a lot, and we are very transparent with each other. I think there is more to achieve together”
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz has stated that despite all his “respect and appreciation for McLaren, that's just the second-best team and” he couldn't “hesitate when Ferrari” knocked on the “door”
He also feels that as he “managed to create a good team at McLaren, so why not at Ferrari?”
He further added that “nobody leaves Ferrari empty-handed” as they leave “there with victories and podiums in their pocket”
He also accepts that “they may leave without a world title, but that's the way it is with nineteen drivers every year, especially at a time when Mercedes and Red Bull are so dominant”
Toto Wolff has pointed out that his driver Valtteri Bottas “has had highlights, but above all many more lows than he deserved”
He added that “those lows were not due to his own performance, but simply the result of bad luck”
Wolff also thinks that Bottas “could have had a handful more wins. And the championship could have stayed open much, much longer”
He reiterated that Bottas “is performing at a very high level. There's no reason to doubt him”
Former Renault team principal Flavio Briatore has suggested that “Renault will have had good reasons to hire” ex-MotoGP team principal Davide Brivio
He added that Brivio’s “inexperience will not be a problem. In the end it's about managing people and in a couple of months he'll know what to do”
McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that “you get 100% openness and honesty from” Helmut Marko “and you have to learn not to take everything personally”
He also joked that “Helmut has become softer in recent years. Maybe it's because he's getting older, but” he also feels “that he's become a bit nicer”
Williams’ George Russell thinks that he has “improved as a driver, drastically, because” he has “been in wheel-to-wheel battles throughout the season with Alfa Romeo, Haas and often [Sebastian] Vettel”
He added that the “experience of fighting wheel to wheel in a Formula 1 car has helped” him “a lot - because it's different. It's very different from junior formulas”
He further explained that if “you lose downforce, the car transforms. And learning how to deal with that has been great for” him
Has Helmut Marko become “softer” in recent years?
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