Mercedes may wait until winter to make Bottas/Russell decision

Mercedes may delay making a decision on its second 2022 Formula 1 seat until the winter, as it weighs up whether to retain Valtteri Bottas or take George Russell.

Mercedes may wait until winter to make Bottas/Russell decision

While the German car manufacturer hopes to nail down a fresh contract with Lewis Hamilton around the summer break, it is more uncertain about the timing of making a call on its second seat.

Both Bottas and Russell are out of contract at the end of this year, and there have been suggestions that the team could be poised to decide soon.

Read Also:

With Bottas having had some recent struggles, there was even wild speculation that Mercedes could announce signing Russell as early as the British Grand Prix.

But speaking at the French GP, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said that there was no rush to decide what to do – and that there was a chance the matter could drag on into the winter.

Asked about when there could be news, Wolff said: “Somewhere in the winter I think. But I don't know if it's December, January or February.”

Pushed on if the team would really wait that long, Wolff said: “It is highly possible because we have always been committed and loyal to the drivers. And this is what we're doing.”

Although Bottas has had a fair few disappointments this year, Wolff said that the ball was very much in the Finn’s court about whether or not he could convince Mercedes to keep him.

Asked about what Bottas had to do to stay with Mercedes, Wolff said: “Drive the car fast on a Saturday and Sunday. If he does that, he puts himself in a very good situation in terms of next year.”

Wolff was also clear that the final decision would be based on ultimate performance, and there would no temptation for Mercedes to make the switch purely for a change of line-up.

“That [a fresh impetus] is one of the one of the things that need to be considered? Absolutely. But it's not the main driver.

“The main driver is consistent performance. Especially in this difficult year, we need two drivers that are racing right there. If one is having an off weekend or DNFs, you need the other one to bring it home. And that's why it's always important that both are just on the max of their ability.”

shares
comments

Related video

F1 faces "serious problem" over tyre failures, says Aston Martin

Previous article

F1 faces "serious problem" over tyre failures, says Aston Martin

Next article

French Grand Prix qualifying – Start time, how to watch, channel

French Grand Prix qualifying – Start time, how to watch, channel
Load comments
Russian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race Prime

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021