Toto Wolff believes the “complications” that were in Lewis Hamilton’s life when he joined Mercedes in 2013 have disappeared during his time with the team, becoming a “better Lewis” with each year that has passed.

Hamilton is currently on course to win his sixth Formula 1 world championship in 2019 and continue his success with Mercedes, having won eight of the opening 12 races so far this season. Hamilton joined the team in 2013 from McLaren, and has since won four titles and more than 50 races for the German manufacturer.

While Hamilton has continued to reach new heights on-track and break numerous records, Mercedes F1 chief Wolff heaped praise on his development as a person since joining the team.

“He’s an integral part of the team and has developed as a racing driver - but even more spectacularly as a human being,” Wolff said in an interview with Formula 1.

“When he joined from McLaren it was, for me, like a raw diamond in a sense. You could see complications in his life, and maybe a lack of stability or understanding of what was needed.

“All that has disappeared through the Mercedes years. Every year, he became a better Lewis and, knock on wood, in the last two or three years, we’ve barely seen any mistakes.

“And if they happen, he was the first one to admit them, and that has contributed to our culture of being brutally honest with each other.”

Hamilton’s recent success in F1 has coincided with an ever-growing profile outside of the sport amid his interests in fashion and music, leading to a busy schedule juggling all of his commitments.

For Wolff, Hamilton’s external activities have only been a positive thing, contributing to his impressive run of form. 

“I think we need to stop putting people in boxes and say this is how a racing driver has to be,” Wolff said.

“Simply make the effort to try and understand the human behind the helmet and try to carve out the framework that makes that person the best him, or the best her, and make them perform at the very top.

“I believe that Lewis has other interests, be it music or fashion, and it takes his mind off between races. Having a good time is something that I think is very positive and very important for his performance on the racing track.

“We are very open with each other on what we do. We Facetime, we send videos. I feel in a very good place with him.”



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