Wolff: Lewis is going to be a very important figure

Toto Wolff is not stingy with praise for Lewis Hamilton, believing the seven-time world champion has more than adequately coped with the difficulties of last season when the Mercedes team lost ground to Red Bull Racing and Ferrari.

While 2022 marked the first time since Hamilton’s early career that he failed to score a win and finished the season 6th in the individual standings, Wolff believes his impact on the Mercedes team can be compared to how Michael Schumacher worked for Ferrari.

Toto Wolff: “Lewis had an exceptionally difficult year because we couldn’t give him a car to fight for wins. In addition, the behavior of the W13 on the track was unpredictable, unstable – in some cases it worked well, in some cases it worked worse. It cannot be called a machine that can be brought to the desired level during the modernization process.

But the way Lewis handled everything during the season is admirable. There were times when the team got desperate, because there were no results, and then he encouraged people, put them to work. He showed qualities that are characteristic of him as a person and as a manager, which I had not noticed at all in top athletes.

I would say he can already be considered one of the team leaders. Of course he’s involved in fine-tuning the car as he’s based at Brackley, but I think he’s going to be a really important figure on race weekends.

Perhaps he is a bit reminiscent of Michael Schumacher, who (for Ferrari) was not just a racer. Psychologically, such a person becomes part of the team, and that clearly applies to Lewis. He is not one of those who simply fulfill his contractual obligations – riders like that come to the team, they get paid and then leave when they get a better offer. Hamilton has been with the team for ten years and has really become one of us.”

Source: F1 News

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