While Lewis Hamilton is frequently in the headlines for his activities away from Formula 1, his Mercedes boss Toto Wolff concedes he always has concerns for his prize driver but feels he is smart enough not to take too many risks.

The reigning F1 world champion enjoys a wide variety of activities away from the sport – including motorcycle track days and skydiving as his latest eye-catching exploits – and has repeatedly explained in the past he uses them to refresh himself before returning to racing.

Wolff says despite his worries about Hamilton’s wellbeing in high-risk activities – while he endured a fraught moment when he was initially unaware the five-time F1 world champion had crashed on a bike in Jerez late last year – but trusts his star driver to “know exactly what works” and helps him be a better driver.

“Of course I’m always worried, and we had a laugh last year because I couldn’t get hold of him and couldn’t get hold of my chief strategist and one of the race engineers – and found out they were racing motorbikes in Jerez and nobody would pick up the phone,” Wolff said. “They were a bit apologetic. But Lewis is not 18 or 19 anymore. He’s a five-time world champion. He knows exactly what works for him and what doesn’t.

“All these activities, in my experience, are not a negative distraction but on the other hand something that he enjoys that he enjoys doing.”

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Wolff has also moved to defend Hamilton’s lifestyle as it helps bring the best out of his driver given his F1 record over the past decade.

“Some things are just a hobby: like sports; others are more of a passion, like the fashion business,” he said. “Every time he’s able to decompress from motor racing, he comes back stronger. We mustn’t be judgemental.

“Some people go on a meditation seminar to India. Others do sky diving. Others are out for the ladies. Let’s accept how everybody is. He is justified and has shown that he is one of the best out there.”

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