Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has explained why they have only agreed to extend the contract for one year with Lewis Hamilton

A contract was finally announced on Monday for seven-time champion Hamilton to enter a ninth season with Mercedes, but his short-term nature came as a surprise

Formal videoconferencing talks between Hamilton and Wolff didn’t begin until Christmas week, and when the world champions’ old deal expired at the beginning of 2021 it quickly became necessary to reach an agreement, at least for the new season, imperative

“We have jointly agreed on a one-year contract,” said Wolff, Mercedes’ F1 team boss and co-owner, in a virtual press conference after the contract was announced

“First, there is a major regulatory change in 2022.We also want to see how the world and the company develop

“On the other hand, because we kept it very late it was important to get it done ASAP. In that regard, we thought we should postpone the discussion to 2022 and later to a later stage in 2021 “

Despite all the speculation in recent weeks about supposed aspects of the contract negotiations, Wolff insisted that “the money issue was not the crux of the matter” and that in the end it was “more about getting started quickly for 2021”

The Mercedes team boss also rejected suggestions that Hamilton had asked for a so-called Verstappen clause – an effective veto against future teammates after 2021

Wolff elaborated on the reasons why more time is needed for discussions about 2022 and beyond: “There are uncertainties around the world that affect how sport works and affect our earnings, TV money and sponsorship affect income

“Daimler and Mercedes are undergoing an enormous change in the direction of electromobility and that means investment So we live in a financial reality that is different from what it was a few years ago

“But having said that, we, Lewis and I, the broader group and Mercedes, are completely in tune with the situation so there was never any disagreement”

Although Hamilton is becoming a 15th Season of Formula 1 and the pursuit of a record-breaking eighth world title this year, his medium-term future in the sport remains unsolved by the announcement on Monday

Hamilton said late last year that he wasn’t sure how long he wanted to keep running, but Wolff believes the 36-year-old can easily continue beyond this year

“As long as he likes to race, in my opinion he is very capable of driving longer,” said Wolff

“He is developing into a driver who takes care of himself in terms of physical training and mental preparation So I’m not thinking of skills that end in 2021. But in the end it’s his decision “

Wolff said they would start talks “much earlier” than last year on 2022. He reiterated that while “Lewis has to decide what his future holds for him,” Mercedes also had to ponder their long-term driver options

Valtteri Bottas is also on a one-year contract, while the highly regarded protégé George Russell, whose career is led by Mercedes, is in the final year of a three-year tenure with Williams

💬 “Our team has achieved incredible things together and we look forward to building on our success and continually improving, both on and off the track” – @LewisHamilton # LewisAnnounced ImageTwittercom / erRq1hMTjX

“Valtteri and Lewis have our 100 percent commitment and loyalty for 2021, we will support them with everything we have,” explained Wolff

“We will then look beyond this year and say: ‘What is the line-up we envision from 2022?’

“Our first conversations are with Valtteri and Lewis about respecting our values ​​of loyalty and integrity, but on the other hand, young drivers are the future and so we need to consider how we want to position ourselves for years beyond that “

If he wasn’t competitive before, Russell was firmly in the shop window for 2022 after starring at Hamilton at the Sakhir GP in December after the world champion contracted coronavirus

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Hamilton, Lewis Hamilton

World news – GB – Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes outlines reasons for a short-term deal for the new Formula 1 season 2021

Source: https://www.skysports.com/f1/news/12433/12212507/lewis-hamilton-mercedes-outline-reasons-for-short-term-deal-for-formula-1-2021-new-season