Wolff unclear over Mercedes future of key Hamilton ally

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has revealed talks will be held in the coming months to decide the future of Lewis Hamilton’s race engineer Peter Bonnington.

Bonnington has been Hamilton’s senior race engineer since he joined the team in 2013, with the pairing winning 82 Grands Prix and six titles to become the most successful driver-engineer partnership of all time.

The long-serving engineer, who also worked with Michael Schumacher at the Silver Arrows, is one of the most recognisable voices on the team radio usually for his “Hammer time” or “Get in there, Lewis!” messages – or being subject to complaint from Hamilton when times are hard.

Bonnington’s Mercedes future

Asked by RacingNews365 if there had been any talks over Bonnington’s future with the team, Wolff explained: “I think that this is a discussion which everyone needs to have in the months to come.

“I’ve already spoken with Bono and when I told him, he said: ‘Is it April 1st?’

“It is something which we will need to discuss in the future, in a couple of months.”

Wolff also added how he never completely discounted the chance of Hamilton leaving but believed the seven-time champion would stay put.

“Every race driver dreams about being in a red overall, in the red car and we’ve discussed it many times before, and that it would be exciting to do it one day,” he said.

“But over the years, we came to the conclusion that staying at Mercedes and finishing the legacy here is something that one could be proud of, but I never ignored the possibility of change, whether it was Ferrari or another team.

“The fact didn’t surprise me, but the timing, I can understand where [Lewis] is coming from [in announcing his departure so early], and that was to protect the team’s interests going forward.”


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