Mercedes could delay decision on second 2022 F1 seat until winter

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 could delay decision on second 2022 F1 seat until winter

While the German 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.

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.

PLUS: Why George Russell is ready to fight for F1 titles

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.”

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

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.”

Read Also:

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,” he said.

“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

The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France

The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France
Load comments
Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph Plus

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Plus

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021