F1 fans across the globe received the announcement they had been waiting for ahead of the 2021 season – would Hamilton ever come to an agreement with Mercedes?
Although there was never any doubt that the seven-time world champion would race again this season, questions were beginning to be asked about the incessant hold-up.
After revealing that an agreement had been reached in February, fans began to look at the details with a fine toothed comb, and now have raised questions around the 1-year extension contract.
Speaking at an online press conference on Monday, team principal Toto Wolff said “there was never a moment where we thought he wouldn’t sign and there was never a moment where he doubted [he would sign].”
The two sides reportedly delayed their talks due to the ongoing health emergency, which condensed a 17-race schedule into a six month calendar and, due to social distancing measures, made it difficult to sit down face to face away from the circuit.
Both the team and Hamilton also said they trusted one another to continue into 2021, so as the season progressed there was no immediate panic about putting pen to paper.
Wolff clarified that; “We jointly agreed on a one-year deal.
“First of all, there is a substantial regulation change in 2022 and we also want to see how the world develops, and the company.
“On the other side, because we kept it very late, we wanted to discuss the contract at the end of the season between the Bahrain races and then obviously Lewis didn’t feel well and in the end we started our negotiation and conversation just before Christmas and it was important to get it done as soon as possible.
“In that respect, we thought let’s postpone the conversation about 2022 and onwards to a later stage in 2021.”
So, amongst the chit chat and rumours online, surrounding the aspect of money demands, and an alleged veto requested by Hamitlon to choose who does not in fact driver alongside him with the silver arrows, it all actually came down to timing in the midst of a pandemic, and allowing Hamilton to focus on winning yet another Driver’s Championship title.