As rumours of Lewis Hamilton’s contract demands continue, Toto Wolff says he has not had a “single” conversation with the Brit about money.
Earlier this week the Daily Mail claimed that Hamilton was holding out for a £40m per season pay cheque to extend his Mercedes stay.
Days later the publication said Wolff had informed his driver that he would only go as high as £20m.
Hamilton responded to the latter report by telling the media to “please stop making sh*t up”.
According to the six-time World Champion, he hasn’t even begun speaking with Mercedes about a new deal.
He said: “The media keep writing about contract and me making demands but I haven’t even spoken with Toto about it yet. No demands, the conversation hasn’t even begun.”
Wolff was later asked about the reports and backed up Hamilton, saying nothing has been said about money and that the rumours doing the rounds were “total nonsense”.
“All the things that are out there about contract negotiations, whether him demanding a hilariously high salary or me saying it’s only 50 percent of that, they are all made up,” Wolff told Motorsport.com.
“We haven’t had a single conversation about money.
“It’s sometimes weird to read this stuff in the press when you know it’s just total nonsense.
“Lewis is very aware of the financial realities of the auto industry and about Formula 1, and in the same way, I’m very respectful of his achievements and his class.
“Therefore it’s going to lead to I think a satisfactory outcome for all of us.”
One of the statements in the Daily Mail’s report about Wolff only offering Hamilton half of his demands was that the Austrian is said to be in favour of a salary cap.
Although Formula 1 will operate under a budget cap as of next season, the drivers’ salaries are not included in that.
Wolff admits he is in favour of salaries being capped in the future but that it cannot be rushed.
“The salary cap is something that we have supported, I believe [in a] similar [way] to the leagues in the US,” he said.
“If you cap the team at $145 million with a downward slope, you need at a certain stage to also cap high salaries. But I don’t think we should lose the superstars of today.
“We have said we don’t want to lose the superstars out of this sport, so it needs to be a gradual introduction from 2024 onwards so that the future generations of drivers end up on a more sensible level, considering that we have a cost cap on the team.
“I think it would be good for the sport. They need to be inspirational, the drivers, and as you can see in the US, the top football players and the top basketball players are still very inspirational.
“High salaries are what they deserve, because they are global superstars and they are the best of their league. It should not end up in a ratio, salary of an individual compared to the team cap, that over certain time is going to create controversy that is not needed.”