Lewis Hamilton's vulnerability key to beating Max Verstappen in title fight – Toto Wolff

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes Lewis Hamilton’s sensitivities leave the seven-time world champion more vulnerable in the championship, but says the same qualities also drive Hamilton’s desire for improvement in Formula One.

F1’s most decorated driver heads into Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix with a not-so-comfortable 14-point lead in the driver’s standings over Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, as he hopes to become the most successful driver ever this season with an eighth world title to his name.

Monaco however, is not a track that particularly favours Hamilton. Despite a win last time out in 2019, he only has three victories in 13 attempts in the Principality.

But as a human being, the 36-year-old has recently taken to social media to share his struggles with his mental health, the anxiety he copes with and the days he hates his body, saying sometimes he feels like he doesn’t have the “motivation” as he feels “too fat or too skinny.”

Posting on Instagram Hamilton said: “Remember, working out releases endorphins that kick start your day positively, so if you’re anything like me and struggle with your mental health, training is a huge player in helping keep you on a positive.”

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“If you look back a few years ago, you see a person that was very much less mature, less capable and less competent than the person here today, so we embrace it and we are learning from each other.”

Hamilton already has three wins this season to his title rival Verstappen’s one, putting him in a strong position to continue the upward trend in points this season.

Much speculation has been formulated about the Briton’s future in Formula One. After signing a one season-contract at Mercedes, there were some whispers he might retire, with Hamilton refusing to rule out either possibility for his future.

And Wolff explains why now that the season has restarted, Hamilton might be less than inclined to walk away come the end of the season.

“We are all competitive animals and, over the off-season, we somehow fall into a winter sleep,” explained Wolff, who expects Hamilton to commit to a multi-year deal.

“Bears, panthers and wolves sleep over the winter and then it’s time to wake up and that’s why, as soon as the stopwatch is out and it starts to get serious, we all prosper.

“We would all be lost a little bit if we didn’t have that sport. It’s such an exceptional environment that everything else we do afterwards will carry that little bit of boredom. It’s clear when you step out of F1 that all of us will need a certain readjustment.”

Wolff has been at Mercedes for the entirety of the team’s dominance in the sport since 2014, overlooking six of Hamilton’s world titles.

The Hamilton-Bottas partnership has worked like clockwork, for Hamilton at least, and Wolff, who also was at the helm for the not-so-harmonious Hamilton-Rosberg partnership, said they’ve learnt a lot from one another.



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