Wolff does not want to know anything about Hamilton’s possible departure: “He is an integral part of the team”

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Toto Wolff has nothing to say about a possible departure of driver Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes team boss does not want to talk about the expiring contract and prefers to focus on the cohesion within the team, which is especially necessary now that performance is disappointing. At the German branch of Motorsport, the Austrian says that he sees Hamilton as an ‘integral part of the team’ and does not just see him leave.

It was a rough start for Mercedes at the Formula 1 season opener in Bahrain. Mercedes drivers Hamilton and George Russell only took fifth and seventh place respectively. Compared to last season, the team scored eleven points less. The fact that Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso claimed third place was also difficult for Mercedes, as Aston Martin is a Mercedes engine partner. In addition, the gap between the German racing stable and defending champion Red Bull Racing has been very large from moment one.

According to team boss Wolff, it is clear to the entire team that adjustments must be made. “We have clear communication within the team,” explains the Austrian. “Everyone knows it’s not about just finding 0.3 seconds or polishing the car,” he continues. “The main thing now is that we can fight for race victories and championships again.”

Wolff: ‘Hamilton is an integral part of the team’

It is important to have a competitive car, especially in view of Mercedes driver Hamilton’s expiring contract. The fact that Mercedes is underperforming is not a reason for the seven-time world champion to leave the team, according to team boss Wolff. “He’s an integral part of the team that keeps the team together and I don’t think that will change just because we had a really bad start.”

Wolff also emphasizes once again the achievements that Hamilton has achieved with the German team. “He has won six drivers’ titles and eight constructors’ championships here, so that relationship will continue to exist between us,” says the Austrian. “It would be too easy for him to leave now.”

Mercedes is working together as a team on improvements

The team boss firmly insists that things will get better for Mercedes. The team is already working hard on upgrades for the car, with the team already looking at possible ‘other ideas’. “It has been clear for a long time that there is too big a gap between us and the top,” says Wolff. ‘We are now focusing first on the current concept, but we have already looked at alternatives.’

The plan B for the car is therefore there, but Wolff does not want to think about a different composition of drivers yet. “Even if we had to take the whole car apart and turn it around, now was not the right time to talk about driver composition in 2024,” said Wolff, who wants to avoid the subject. “It is still too early to talk about this, but we are now strong as a team together.”

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