Allowing Hamilton to live life how he wants key to success says Wolff

09-07-2019 14:24
by Bevan Youl
Allowing Hamilton to live life how he wants key to success says Wolff

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has stated that allowing Lewis Hamilton to live his life the way he wants to has been key to his and the team’s success the past few years.

Since the second half of last year’s season Hamilton said himself that he found a ‘sweet spot’ in Formula and has made the most of it since winning 12 of his last 17 races, whilst claiming a fifth World Championship last year.
But over the past couple of years Hamilton broadcasted his life more and what he does with it, whether it’s launching a clothing line with Tommy Hilfiger, or adventures and his lifestyle.
Many have criticised this for not being fully committed to his job as a Formula 1 driver but Wolff insists allowing Hamilton this freedom has been key to his recent success.
Wolff said to BBC Sport: "Most important is to acknowledge that we are all different individuals and we need different frameworks in order to perform well. 

"Lewis is somebody who needs to be able to pursue his other ambitions and interests.

“And rather than putting somebody in a box and saying, 'This is how a racing driver needs to behave - you need to be on time, you need to avoid jet lag before the race, or don't record music overnight when you are jet-lagged but try to sleep,' I realised very early on that giving him the freedom of pursuing his interests, we were able to extract more performance on track.

"I have the feeling that he needs to get his mind off motor racing.

“If he's able to do a fashion show that excites him, or record some music, or do some snowboarding with his friends, he forgets about the racing side, and he can come back stronger and more energised."

Wolff also described Hamilton’s persistence to try to be the best he can when driving is something that reflects on the team and helps them progress each year.

"Lewis has played a big part in that," Wolff added.

"He never stops pushing for performance. He is very self-critical.

“He is the only driver I have ever seen coming into a debrief and saying: 'Don't look at my data because my driving was not good enough.' And that from a five-time world champion.

"This relentless pursuit of being a better you tomorrow than you have been today, and brutal honesty with yourself, transparency within the organisation to overcome mistakes and shortcomings, is something that is a very big part of Lewis' character - and the mindset of the team.”

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