“Such a situation would never be utilised as some kind of bargaining power”- Toto Wolff denies using George Russell’s against Lewis Hamilton.
Lewis Hamilton is yet to sign a contract extension with Mercedes, as his current deal will run out after the end of the season. Though, Toto Wolff has constantly assured that the Briton driver will sign the deal eventually.
With Hamilton suffering from COVID-19, Mercedes replaced him with George Russell for this weekend, and now many are speculating that with an impactful performance by Russell, Wolff might pull bargaining strings to make Hamilton reduce his demands.
Karun Chandok, former Formula E driver and now an F1 expert have also claimed this same theory. However, Toto Wolff has denied any malicious intent.
Here’s a thought – Lewis & Toto negotiating new deal.
Toto puts GR in to show LH that they can still be 1-2 without him & therefore don’t have to agree to all his terms / salary demands.
Ultimately I think Lewis will re-sign with Merc but this will help Toto’s position #Smart
— Karun Chandhok (@karunchandhok) December 5, 2020
“We’ve discussed having George in the car,” he told the media at the Bahrain circuit. “We know what we have with Lewis and he knows what he has with the team.
“Such a situation would never be utilised as some kind of bargaining power, neither by him nor by us – it could do both directions. I respect very much who he is, how he drives, his records, and whatever happens this week or next has no influence on our talks.”
Huge expectations for Sunday
Russell had a great session on Friday and continued to maintain his momentum throughout the weekend, as this is his chance to prove his worth for Mercedes.
Though, Wolff has claimed that people shouldn’t overhype and wait till something actually happens.