Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton is 'priceless' to Mercedes, says Toto Wolff

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Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff says that Lewis Hamilton is "priceless" to the team.

The former driver believes that the three-time Formula 1 championship winner is key to Mercedes' success, however, does admit that it can get frustrating working with the 32-year-old.

Hamilton has been signed with the team since 2013 after joining from former team McLaren, and has lifted two championships since.

He also currently sits on top of the current edition of the Formula One standings by an astounding 28 points, having picked up seven wins from 14 races.

And, Wolff believes that Mercedes would not be in their lofty position had it not been for Hamilton. 

He told SpeedWeek: "He is priceless."

"If he drives a Ferrari privately, he drives a Ferrari privately."

Hamilton has courted controversy in recent years. One of his most infamous exchanges was his reported frosty relationship with teammate and former karting partner Nico Rosberg.

Wolff, however, admits that he is happy to gloss over any problems because of Hamilton's immense talent behind the wheel. 

He said: "He's a free man, you can't lock him in a cage.

"Sometimes it gives us grey hair, but on a difficult day he is fundamentally the man we want to have in the car."

Hamilton has won the last three races in Formula 1 having been placed at the top of the podium at the Belgian, Italian, and Singapore Grand Prix.

The team are back in action on October 1 for the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit.

Hamilton earned pole position ahead of the last Malaysian Grand Prix, but had to retire from the actual race itself due to engine problems.

He has only won the Malaysian Grand Prix once in his nine-year Formula 1 career, having finished first in 2014 in his second year with current team Mercedes.

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