Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says he encouraged Lewis Hamilton to take part in the Formula 1 future talks and is pleased to see his driver voice his opinion to help direct the sport’s next steps.

Five-time F1 world champion Hamilton represented the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association alongside Nico Hulkenberg and Alex Wurz at last month’s FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris – where the 2021 regulations were delayed until October – and he also took part in the F1 tyre meeting at the Austrian Grand Prix.

With Hamilton eager to leave a legacy in F1 and assist in improving the sport, Wolff says he suggested to the Mercedes driver he should take part in the meetings and deliver his opinion to shape the future of F1.

“It is good that he is thinking about how F1 can be run in the best-possible way by the best people but I am very happy doing what I do,” Wolff told Sky Sports F1 during the Austrian Grand Prix.

“We started to talk a bit about it, I strongly encouraged him to come to the meetings and he was there.

“He is the most successful current F1 driver and has a good opinion. I think the drivers should speak their minds and say what they think. They are driving the cars and they should be involved in making the best regulations or trying to achieve the best regulations for next time around.”

Speaking during the build-up to the Austrian Grand Prix, Hamilton explained how having the drivers’ input would be of value to F1 and is eager to avoid teams influencing the rules for their own advantage.

“I heard they are trying to bring back 2018 tyres, which were worse than last year’s tyres,” Hamilton said last week. “Last year’s tyres we had to manage to a temperature, which means we had to do more lift and coasting, more blistering. It was a lot worse.

“We couldn’t do for example what I was able to do at the last race or even in Canada where I was able to push behind Seb. You couldn’t do that on last year’s tyres, particularly the thicker gauge tyres.

“That is just an example of different teams pushing for different things for their own personal goals rather than the sport’s. So we need to find solutions that work for everyone if possible, not individual gains.”

At the Austrian Grand Prix the push to revert to the 2018 F1 tyres failed to get through with an equal five-five voting split between teams, with a majority of seven votes required to change the tyre specification mid-season.

It is believed all Mercedes-powered and Renault-powered teams voted to keep the 2019 tyre specifications against the Ferrari-powered and Honda-powered teams wanting to return to last year’s tyres.

 

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