Lewis Hamilton & Toto Wolff - F1's dream team: Sky Sports exclusive
In conversation with F1's dream team: Martin Brundle speaks to Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff in a Sky Sports F1 exclusive
Last Updated: 28/04/20 12:43pm
One's a six-time drivers' champion, one's his six-time double-title winning team boss. But what are the secrets behind Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff's incredible Formula 1 success?
In a Sky Sports F1 exclusive, Martin Brundle spoke to Hamilton and Wolff about their trophy-laden journey together at Mercedes and much more, delving into their winning partnership and what has made them click.
"We were just like magnets, we drew each other together," said Hamilton in the 30-minute special, filmed before the 2020 season was due to start.
"I needed Toto to do what he did with the team and he needed me to do what I do in the car."
This is a conversation with F1's dream team - with topics ranging from when and how they first met, to Hamilton's contract negotiations...
Winning machines: Hamilton & Wolff's F1 partnership
Hamilton and Wolff only joined forces in 2013 - when Mercedes surprisingly lured Hamilton away from McLaren - but since then have embarked on a streak nobody could have predicted.
Mercedes, born from the 2009 title-winning Brawn GP team, have, since 2014, sealed six consecutive clean sweeps of the championship - a feat no F1 team has ever achieved before - while Hamilton has added five titles to make him the second most successful driver of all time.
While Hamilton and Wolff frequently credit the workforce back at the Mercedes factories and beyond, it's clear the pair - described as an "enduring dynamic duo" by Brundle - have been the perfect fit.
"We're so similar in our personalities," said Hamilton, who insisted he had a "friend and colleague" in his boss. "Both stubborn. Both massively driven.
"My goals in life are that I want to win. I've got to figure out what people I want around me to achieve that. And this is what Toto does."
Wolff added: "Fundamentally, there is trust between us.
"I need Lewis, the team needs Lewis, and Lewis needs the team."
Why the relationship is so 'healthy'
"Communication really is so important," said Hamilton. "We find that nowadays that as soon as there's a problem we pick up the phone and we sort it out straight away."
Judging each other's mood and "energy" is also essential.
"I notice sometimes if Toto's down and I try to lift him up, and vice versa," added the Englishman. "That's what team-mates do."
Wolff stated: "The sports star, the guy who sits in the car or kicks the ball, is very different to the role I have. But the stress levels are very similar and the responsibility and the accountability are very similar.
"So we know a nice WhatsApp or a nice message can help and send you on a better trajectory."
Of course, there can be disagreements.
"It's only natural," said Wolff. "We have disagreements, but we've never had a bust-up or anything like that. We've just always been very transparent with each other, whether you like or not. I think that's why [the relationship] is as healthy as it is."
Ferrari only a 'short-term' option
When Hamilton, Wolff and Brundle spoke back in February, rumours about Hamilton's future were swirling - some suggesting that he had turned down a bumper new contract, and some claiming he was ready to join Ferrari.
Hamilton and Wolff denied that back then, insisting they hadn't even started their 2020 contract talks yet.
"We have told each other basically what our goals are, and what our aims are, and our commitments and so I don't ever feel there's necessarily always a rush," explained Hamilton, whose current deal expires this year.
The pair also reminisced about their "10-hour" negotiations in Hamilton's Monaco apartment as they thrashed out his present two-year deal in 2018 - and how they have already been bantering about the terms of a new agreement.
So is Hamilton definitely going to stay?
Asked by Brundle if he fancied trying to win with Ferrari, Hamilton replied: "I think that's like a short-term kind of thing.
"If you look at all drivers who have driven for Ferrari, obviously it's an incredible team and obviously the car's always beautiful red. I have got red on my helmet. Red is the colour of passion or love or whatever you want say.
"But what Mercedes have done for all their drivers - even Sir Stirling Moss was still a part of the team - they honour that and you become a part of a legacy and a life-long partner, which I think is super appealing."