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Toto Wolff denies double standard in Hamilton contract talks

 

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has denied insinuations that he was using George Russell to push Lewis Hamilton  into signing a new deal.

Hamilton’s last contract expired on December 31 with negotiations over a fresh contract still ongoing.

Russell has been touted as a replacement should the world champion not put pen to paper having filled in at the end of last season.

Hamilton tested positive for Covid-19 and was forced to miss the Sakhir Grand Prix with Russell stepping in and qualifying in second.

He may well have won the race were it not for pit stop and tyre issues, though Wolff insists Russell’s name has not been used in talks with Hamilton.

Mercedes boss Toto wolf and Lewis Hamilton locked in contract talks

Wolff said: “We never played the George Russell card. He did incredibly well and will one day be in a top car, but our long-standing partnership is not at all about making any threatening gestures.

“We know we want to race together. And now we have to negotiate the contract.”

Wolff also admitted that talks do get heated with Hamilton with the new Formula One season just weeks away.

The boss added: “The lawyers are working hard. We don’t make life easy for them, of course, when we both argue over Zoom and keep sending curveballs to the lawyers.

Read AlsoHamilton’s £120million contract plan ‘relying on Ratcliffe input

“But he’s in America now and I’m here in Austria. At some point we will finalise it. It’s how it is with negotiations. “You always come from different corners, but that’s quite normal.

 

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