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Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes boss Toto Wolff could run F1 but shouldn't

Toto Wolff Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is Formula 1's best manager, but reckons the championship must be run by a neutral not someone previously associated with a team.

Wolff has been tipped as a leading candidate to replace Chase Carey as F1's CEO, should the American leave when his contract runs out.

Hamilton, who gained an extra insight into how F1 is run when he attended a recent meeting in Paris about 2021 regulations, said it would be difficult for anyone in charge not to retain a soft spot for a former employer.

"I don't believe there's a better manager than Toto within the whole of F1," said Hamilton.

"However, sitting back as a fan, when you sit in the room with people who ultimately have to make decisions, we as humans - I think, this is just my opinion - can be biased.

"You've got Jean Todt, I know Jean's level, but the fact is he's been with the red team [Ferrari] for so long, so surely when he wakes up if there's a red t-shirt and a silver t-shirt, he probably goes for a red one. You know what I mean? Just like I get out of bed, I see 44 or I see number six, I will go for number 44!

"And Toto has been Mercedes through and through for such a long period of time. I don't know if there's anything in that.

"If it's a choice of management, I think he would be the best, but I think in the best scheme of things it's someone from outside, who's neutral. But even they will watch it and choose a team that they prefer. That's just how we are.

"You look at football and you're drawn to something, that's how we're tuned.

"But the way it is set-up, just from watching when I was there, is not good. It's really not good. They won't like me saying that..."

Asked to elaborate on what he learned at the Paris meeting, Hamilton said that the teams have too much influence.

"I think ultimately the FIA, they're the governing body, they need to make all the decisions," he explained.

"The teams shouldn't be involved in that, in my opinion, because the teams all want to do something for themselves. They won't like me saying that, but ultimately that's the natural thing.

"It would be the same if all the football teams were sat in a room and said the sport should be like this. They would push and pull for their own benefit.

F1 team bosses

"Whereas if you get a central group of people, intelligent, like the FIA for example, their sole job with Liberty is to make the sport great again - whether that means hiring individuals or whatever.

"But they should have the power and just make the decisions. Currently if they were to do that they don't always necessarily have the right answers."

Hamilton admitted to some frustration when talk in the Paris meeting turned to further increasing the minimum car weight in 2021.

"You sit there and they're talking about making the car heavier, and it baffles me," he said.

"Why are you going to make the car heavier? The car is already 130kgs heavier or whatever it is than when I first got to the sport.

"And what they don't know is we've got the best brakes you can possibly have, they're as great as they can be, and they're overheating and they're fading, so the braking zones aren't great.

"If you put the car another 30kgs heavier, it's just going to get worse for the brakes and the car, and you have to do more lift and coasting, you have to do more fuel saving, all these different things, it just has a knock-on domino effect.

"But now with the drivers in there, maybe they'll make a lot of noise."

Asked what could be improved for next year rather than 2021, Hamilton made it clear that drivers are frustrated with the current tyres.

"The only current thing I can think of for next year for example, we do one stop a race, I don't know if that's a good thing, I think that's boring," he said.

"Maybe we can do something on that. They've got a new target letter to Pirelli to provide a different kind of tyre.

"No driver agrees with the target letter, and we don't know who wrote the target letter, but he had no input from the drivers, and has no idea what it's like to drive the car, and has not done a good job.

"So we need to be a part of helping him create that target letter for next year, and that might help it a little bit."

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