Wolff: Delaying 2022 driver choice until winter was "wind-up"

Mercedes Formula 1 team boss Toto Wolff says comments he made suggesting he could delay making a 2022 driver choice until the winter were a "wind-up".

Wolff: Delaying 2022 driver choice until winter was "wind-up"
Listen to this article

Wolff had said in an interview provided to media by the FIA that it was possible for the world champion team to delay making a final call on whether or not to retain Valtteri Bottas.

Asked about the timing of a second driver decision if Lewis Hamilton was definitely staying, Wolff had indicated that the team was in no rush.

After giving a cheeky first response about waiting until ‘somewhere in the winter’ he was then pushed to clarify if the team would really wait that long.

He responded: “It is highly possible because we have always been committed and loyal to the drivers. And this is what we're doing.”

Read Also:

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

But speaking after qualifying for the French Grand Prix, Wolff revealed that he had actually been joking when he made the comments.

He suggested he had said it as a means of hoping to stop being asked repeated questions about the timing of the driver call.

“Yes, it was a wind-up," he said. "Because you get asked this question so, so often."

But although Wolff may not then wait until the winter, he has indicated that he still wants to take a bit more time to decide what to do because he needs to make the right call.

Asked about what the delay was, knowing full well what both Bottas and George Russell are capable of, Wolff said: “[They are] two drivers that still can have a great career in Formula 1.

“And I want to just see Valtteri's full potential this year. And continue to observe George in driving for Williams and handling this situation.”

Wolff welcomed the fact that Bottas had returned to form in France after an especially difficult Azerbaijan Grand Prix, as he said the Finn had everything in his hands to keep his seat for 2022.

“I’m very happy. I think he's in a good head space,” said Wolff. “We had a good discussion last week and he knows that it's all in his hand.

“And that's good news because he's in control of his destiny and it's only about driving this car fast.”

shares
comments

Related video

Mercedes: Low-downforce choice would have been slower for us
Previous article

Mercedes: Low-downforce choice would have been slower for us

Next article

Grand Prix qualifying results: Verstappen on pole for French GP

Grand Prix qualifying results: Verstappen on pole for French GP
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
The juggling act that makes up an F1 team principal’s weekend Prime

The juggling act that makes up an F1 team principal’s weekend

Have you ever wondered what a Formula 1 team principal actually does at a grand prix? GP RACING followed Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack to open a window into the TP’s race weekend world…

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2022