'At loggerheads' – Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff spent five hours in Mercedes boss' kitchen for talks over his future
MERCEDES chief Toto Wolff has revealed how he and Lewis Hamilton endured a frosty relationship until a frank chat in his kitchen.
The pair enjoy one of the most successful team principal and driver duos in the history of Formula One.
They have enjoyed six drivers’ titles and eight constructor’s titles since they began working together.
However, the two men have enjoyed a rollercoaster ride in the relationship stakes, leading to Wolff giving the British F1 legend a pep talk in order to smooth things over.
That occurred back in 2016 as things turned sour after Hamilton had lost the championship to Nico Rosberg.
That led to the 50-year-old Austrian arranging a meeting with the driver at Christmas following the season in order to resolve their disagreements.
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Wolff told The Times: “I said we need to decide whether we want to work together or not.
“You want to win as a driver, I want to win as a team. Sometimes our different agendas are going to lead to conflict and we need to decide whether we can cope with that situation.
“We were in my kitchen. I said to him, and Susie didn’t much like this analogy, that even though Susie and I might disagree about something, it would never come into my mind to divorce.
" ‘And it’s the same with you Lewis,’ I said.
“‘I don’t want a divorce. You’re the best driver. I want you in our car and we want to provide you with the best car.’”
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Wolff says the conversation lasted for several hours and after the duo had cleared the air they became a close-knit unit.
And he also says it reshaped Hamilton’s legacy in Mercedes.
Wolff added: “We kind of went into this discussion at loggerheads and then, after four or five hours in the kitchen, we found ourselves on a totally different level.
“A purely business related relationship had become a personal relationship. He’s a friend.
“Doesn’t mean we don’t argue anymore but now, Lewis’s success is the team’s success, and the team’s success is Lewis’s success.”
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