Lewis Hamilton nearly 'puked' in response to Toto Wolff's Mercedes suggestion

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Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff have worked together for a decade (Image: Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff have worked together for a decade (Image: Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton shares many things with Toto Wolff – but not the Mercedes chief's love of early '90s rock.

They have worked together at Mercedes for around a decade and got to know each other very well during that time. And Wolff believes, despite their 13-year age gap, that they have similar music preferences.

The Austrian admits, however, that Hamilton's taste is "much more sophisticated". Speaking on BBC Radio's Desert Island Discs programme, he recalled making one suggestion in the Mercedes garage which did not go down well with the British racer.

Wolff said: "Many years ago I said to him, 'What would you think if we were to play AC/DC's Thunderstruck in the garage before going out with the cars, to have all the mechanics listen to this?' And he said, 'It would make me puke!'"

Wolff and Hamilton have enjoyed extraordinary success together in Formula 1. But things have not always been rosy, such as in the aftermath of Nico Rosberg's 2016 title win at team-mate Hamilton's expense.

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The 51-year-old compares the relationship he has with Hamilton with his marriage to wife Susie, particularly when it comes to conflict resolution. He said: "Lewis has become a friend and over years we've gone through difficult spells and very good moments.

"We celebrated many championships and we had discussions among ourselves which were not always easy. A key moment was at the end of 2016 where we didn't speak to each other for a while. So I invited him to come to my kitchen in Oxford and sit down and have a chat.

"The analogy I gave to him is that also I have arguments with Susie. Even if we shout at each other, even if we have this argument, there's never thought of divorcing, and that's why I said to him, 'I don't want to divorce you and neither do you. Because I want the best racing driver in our cars and you want to have the best cars.'

"So we came to the conclusion that we can have conflict, we can create an atmosphere where we're able to be brutally honest with each other, and sometimes we agree to disagree, but we move on."

Wolff also made it clear that Hamilton is "an important pillar to the team" and remains certain that the seven-time world champion will sign a new contract. He said: "I think there is no need to persuade him. He knows about all the goodness and although we struggled with the car this year and last, he will be part of the resurrection of the team."

Daniel Moxon

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