Wolff has ‘zero problem’ with Hamilton’s Ferrari talks

Michelle Foster

Toto Wolff is “totally OK” with Lewis Hamilton’s meetings with Ferrari, adamant it is only normal for a driver to explore their career options.

On Saturday, Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Hamilton had twice met with Ferrari president John Elkann over the course of this season.

‘There have been two meetings between Ferrari president John Elkann and Hamilton himself during 2019,’ the article stated.

‘Elkann is a big fan of Hamilton, so too is Ferrari vice president, Piero Ferrari, who is in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

‘This is a courtship that has lasted for years. Even from the times of Luca di Montezemolo and Stefano Domenicali, the interest in the English champion has been constant and is still very strong today.’

Told of the Italian newspaper’s claims, Wolff insisted he had no issue with it even if it means the possibility of losing his star driver to Mercedes’ main rival.

He told Motorsport.com: “I’m totally OK with that.

“I think this is a free world and I recognise that everybody needs to explore career options, and make the best decision for themselves. Drivers and everybody else included.

“So, I have zero problem, a racing driver will always try to be in the quickest possible car, and the quickest possible car is always going to try to have the best racing driver in there.

“So there is a good consensus between us [over] what we are trying to achieve.”

This season Hamilton won a sixth Drivers’ Championship title, which was his fifth with Mercedes.

Wolff is quietly confident of retaining Hamilton’s services beyond 2020 but concedes that anything could still happen.

“I am totally relaxed about the situation,” he continued. “We need to push very hard to provide the drivers with the quickest possible car.

“And if we are able to do this, I’m 100 percent convinced that we will have the best possible driver line-up in the car.

“And everything points to our relationship [with Hamilton] to continue, but in life you never know.

“And therefore, as I said before, I am very open about this.

“I’ve started to embrace the fact that everybody has objectives, and needs to have the best possible opportunity for their career.

“In that respect, I am absolutely open for everybody to explore options.

“But obviously my personal priority as for the team would be to continue the successful journey [with Hamilton].”

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