Hamilton must avoid further penalties – Wolff
(GMM) Mercedes’ two drivers must try to avoid penalties in the forthcoming races, according to team boss Toto Wolff.
Although the decision to add two more penalty points to Lewis Hamilton’s super license at Sochi was rescinded, he admits he cannot afford to move any closer to a race ban.
“We must not run into penalties in the next races,” Wolff said.
“Both drivers. Verstappen is always on the hunt and I want neither of them to lose a race because Valtteri and Lewis can both win the championship.”
Wolff’s comments come as Hamilton publicly backs away from his suggestion that the FIA and Formula 1 are deliberately trying to “stop” his dominance.
“I may not always get it right in the face of adversity,” Hamilton said on social media on Tuesday.
“I may not always react the way you want me to when tensions are high, but I am only human after all, and I am passionate about what I do. I’m learning and growing every day, and I’ll take my lessons and keep fighting on to the next one.”
Despite Hamilton and Mercedes’ superiority in 2020, there is still great uncertainty about the future – with neither Wolff nor Hamilton signed up yet for 2021.
“Perhaps my role will be different in the future,” Wolff admits.
“We don’t want to create a bottleneck where young talents can no longer advance, so we are taking a look at each role, including that of the team boss.
“I am a co-owner of the racing team, so I’m not going to say ‘That’s it, I’m gone’. I am just thinking about what my role should look like in the longer term,” he added.
Wolff also said there is “no basis” to reports that team sponsor Ineos is looking to buy the Mercedes team, and that a new contract with Hamilton is likely.
“There’s a connection between Lewis and me that has grown stronger over the years,” he said.
“We had some difficult times, and we didn’t always agree, but we always left that behind and grew together. We know that when the going gets tough, we can rely on each other.
“He’s just a pleasure to work with and I think he enjoys working with me too. We can still achieve a lot together.”