Wolff: Mercedes has decided between Russell and Bottas for 2022

Toto Wolff says that Mercedes has made its decision between George Russell and Valtteri Bottas over who will race for its Formula 1 team in 2022.

Wolff: Mercedes has decided between Russell and Bottas for 2022

Mercedes has been considering for a number of months who will partner Lewis Hamilton next season, having agreed a new two-year deal with the seven-time world champion earlier this year.

Bottas has raced for Mercedes since 2017 and helped the team win four constructors’ championships, but could be replaced for next year by Russell, who has starred during his time with Williams and is a member of Mercedes’ young driver programme.

Mercedes previously said it expected to make a decision between Russell and Bottas in the summer months, but no announcement had been made ahead of F1’s return at Spa this weekend.

Russell and Bottas stayed coy on any decision being made during Thursday’s FIA press conference, with both drivers saying there was “no news to share yet”.

But Mercedes F1 boss Wolff revealed on Saturday that a decision has already been made, replying “yes” on two separate occasions when the question was put to him, adding in one response: “I’ve always been genuine with you.”

Russell put in his latest great display for Williams on Saturday during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, taking second on the grid in torrential rain to mark Williams’ best grid slot since the 2017 Italian Grand Prix.

Wolff joked that he was “a little bit disappointed, because [Russell] should have been on pole”, but added that the performance made no difference to Mercedes’ view of him or its considerations.

“I think we know what we have with George,” Wolff said.

“He’s been outstanding in the junior categories, he’s been outstanding at Williams, he’s been outstanding when he’s been [racing for Mercedes] in Bahrain.

“And if I needed to have that ultimate proof, then something would have been wrong. The decision is also considering other factors.”

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Wolff also spoke about the importance of ensuring that whichever driver did not race for Mercedes next year has a good alternative option.

Read Also:

“If it would have been an easy decision, we would have made it earlier, because we know what we have with Valtteri and we know what we have with George,” Wolff said.

“Both of them deserve being looked after. Both deserve to be looked after in the best possible way, because both of them are part of the family, and we hold them up high.

“So there are pros and cons, like with any driver line-up, and at the end, there is no such thing as a perfect discussion.

“We just need to manage it well, and manage the situation well, with whoever driver is not going to be in a Mercedes next year, and make sure there is an exciting programme, and on the other side, manage the situation internally like we’ve always had.”

shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton: Russell form doesn't change Bottas preference for 2022

Previous article

Hamilton: Russell form doesn't change Bottas preference for 2022

Next article

Norris cleared to race in F1 Belgian GP after Eau Rouge Q3 crash

Norris cleared to race in F1 Belgian GP after Eau Rouge Q3 crash
Load comments
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looked back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021