Hamilton: Wolff involved in every Mercedes F1 meeting despite injury layoff

Last year Wolff skipped the Japanese and Brazilian races to create an opportunity to delegate to others and to demonstrate that the team could operate without him on site.

This year a knee operation obliged him to miss Suzuka, and he is also absent from this weekend’s Qatar GP as he continues his recuperation.

Hamilton said that despite Wolff not being present on-site, the Austrian remains fully in touch with what’s going on at the track.

“Toto’s in every meeting,” he said when asked by Autosport. “I saw someone wrote the other day that he had to call in or something for the last race, which was BS.

“Toto, even though he’s not here in person, and he’s obviously devastated he can’t be here, he’s a part of every single meeting.

“He dialled in to the meeting today, he’ll dial into the meeting tomorrow morning, he’ll be in the meeting in the afternoon, he’s on the comms just like the guys back at the factory on the comms for strategy all weekend.

“He’s still 100% fully part [of everything], he’s just not physically here in the country. And he’s a part of those meetings, he speaks in all those meetings just as he does when he’s here.”

Hamilton said that Wolff had earned the right to avoid travelling to every race: “He’s worked incredibly hard to set up this team to be where it is today.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG tours the track on a scooter

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG tours the track on a scooter

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“And he should be able to have weekends off without a problem. He’s the boss. Shoot, if I owned the team, I’ll definitely take weekends off!

“Not that he’s taking the weekend off. But you know what I mean? He has the right to if he wanted to, but it’s just because he’s recovering.

“I just tell him we’ll be pushing. I just always tell him, don’t worry, you set up a great team, we’ll try do you proud this weekend.”

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Hamilton also made it clear that he’s in touch with Wolff on a regular basis between race weekends.

“Toto and I are in contact every week, all the time,” he said. “Good friends, very, very good friends, team-mates. So we do a lot of talking about cars. When I’m back home, we hang out, we have lunch.

“I’m always trying to learn, Toto is a businessman, and he’s always massively supportive.

“You’re going to see some things that will shift over the coming months, at least into next year.

“But I think you’ve already seen my progress, he has been such a huge part of that, and being open-minded and allowing me to be who I am.

“And together we’ve unlocked so much. We’ve done so much more than I think any other partnership that you’ve seen in the sport, on many levels.”

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