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
Listen to this article

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
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Prime

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Prime

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

Stuart Codling charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Prime

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded Maurce Hamilton of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Prime

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination.

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Prime

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023, which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall Prime

The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall

Looking back to the early races of 2022 and Ferrari’s challenge to Red Bull and Max Verstappen was going better than many expected. But it has lost so much ground a surprise rival can even pip Charles Leclerc to runner-up in the standings if given the chance

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2022
The F1 podium-finisher that gave Jordan stability in a year of chaos Prime

The F1 podium-finisher that gave Jordan stability in a year of chaos

The Hart-powered Jordan 194 gave the team hope that the good times were just around the corner. Its 1994 steed wasn’t the start of a move up F1’s pecking order - even if the car did earn the Silverstone team a first pole position. But, as STUART CODLING explains, it did provide a platform for Jordan to become a manufacturer-supported squad.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2022
BRM V16: How F1's greatest sound has returned to the track Prime

BRM V16: How F1's greatest sound has returned to the track

The first of three new BRM V16s is bringing the greatest-sounding engine to a new audience – and back to the race track - at the Goodwood Revival this weekend. Here is the story of the ambitious 1950 Formula 1 project's resurrection for historic competition

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2022