Mercedes wants Bottas, Russell futures secured before announcement

Mercedes wants George Russell or Valtteri Bottas to both have their future plans secured before announcing who will race for its Formula 1 team alongside Lewis Hamilton next year.

Mercedes wants Bottas, Russell futures secured before announcement

Mercedes has been weighing up for some time who will partner Hamilton at the team in 2022, considering current Williams driver Russell as a replacement for Bottas.

Russell has been part of Mercedes' young driver programme since 2017, and has starred throughout his time at Williams in F1 since debuting for the team in 2019.

Russell and Bottas were coy about any decision ahead of last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, saying there was "no news to share", but team boss Toto Wolff revealed on Saturday that he had made up his mind.

Explaining the delay in making any announcement, Wolff said it was "because there are stakeholders that are involved that we need to respect".

George Russell, Williams FW43B

George Russell, Williams FW43B

Photo by: Erik Junius

"As long as contracts are not signed, it makes no sense to announce it," he added.

Asked by Autosport if he wanted both Bottas and Russell to have their future sorted before making any announcement, Wolff replied: "Yes.

"It's not only our call, but there are other parties involved and you have to always proceed with respect and with diligence."

Alfa Romeo has been mooted as a possible landing spot for Bottas should Mercedes opt to promote Russell into its senior team. The Sauber-run team is understood to have placed him at the top of its shortlist for 2022 if he is a free agent, but has been waiting on Mercedes to make a decision first. 

Referring to his comment on Saturday about a decision already being made, Wolff clarified that he personally had made a decision, but that he is "not the only one that is involved in this decision".

Bottas has raced for Mercedes since replacing Nico Rosberg for the 2017 season, playing a part in four constructors' championship victories since then.

Vallteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Vallteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Erik Junius

But the Finn has struggled for form throughout the current season, finishing a race higher than third just once and failing to win a race.

The latest setback for Bottas came at Spa on Saturday when he could only qualify eighth in wet conditions, with a grid penalty for the Turn 1 collision in Hungary then dropping him outside of the points.

It meant he left Spa empty handed, while Russell scored nine points in the rain-shortened race after being classified in second place thanks to his qualifying performance, marking his first F1 podium.

shares
comments

Related video

Verstappen: F1 should start races earlier after long wait at Spa
Previous article

Verstappen: F1 should start races earlier after long wait at Spa

Next article

Formula 1 teams set for further $1.2 million cost cap bonus

Formula 1 teams set for further $1.2 million cost cap bonus
Load comments
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022