Lewis Hamilton has played down any tension between him and Mercedes, suggesting frustration is natural when working in a sport like F1.
Hamilton appeared an unhappy man at the start of the year when to his dismay, Mercedes unveiled a car that looked very similar to last year’s.
Continuing with their zeropods concept, Mercedes soon abandoned the idea which was something Hamilton had reportedly suggested for a while.
Lewis Hamilton plays down tensions with Mercedes
The seven-time World Champion said as much, commenting that no one had listened to his feedback, and tensions appeared to be strained between the two long-term partners.
But Hamilton has since clarified his feelings, suggesting that while there was frustration, it was natural in a highly competitive sport.
“I think in the heated and intense sport that we’re living in, of course there’s frustrations on both sides all of the time and what’s important is you just continue to be open and communicate about those,” he told Hungarian broadcaster M4 Sport.
“I think you’re constantly growing through those conversations. I think the most important thing is to be aligned on where you’re going.
“There’s no doubt that everyone in this team wants to win. We’ve been caught off guard about the cost cap and just the direction of the new regulations, and you just can’t copy and paste and do something different.
“It has to evolve and manoeuvre into a different direction. It just takes time. Has it been quick enough? Maybe not but the good thing is we’ve now sat down, we’ve now said okay we’re more open minded, this is maybe the direction we need to go so let’s explore it and let’s get on top of it for next year.”
Away from the car, there is a continued focus on the contract situation of Hamilton with him set to become a free agent at the end of this year.
It would not be the first time Hamilton has been entirely out of contract before agreeing a new deal shortly before the season started but it is the fact that there appears to be a mysterious element that is holding up the renewal that raises more questions than answers.
“No, we’re not talking about an ambassadorial role post his retirement, nor is that part of the contract negotiations,” Toto Wolff told media, including PlanetF1.com, during the Belgian GP weekend.
“I think he has many years to go as a driver within this team and, therefore, it’s only about cleaning things up in the contract.
“I know it looks a little bit like ‘Why is this not being done and dusted?’
“But it’s simply down to trivial things that just need to be cleaned up in contracts and we need the time.”