Russell and Bottas coy over Mercedes 2022 F1 driver decision

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas remained coy over any decision by Mercedes for its 2022 Formula 1 line-up, both saying there is currently "no news to share".

Russell is vying to replace Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes next year after starring during his time at Williams since debuting in F1 in 2019, having also been part of Mercedes' young driver programme in that time.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff previously said the team would look to make a decision on who would partner Lewis Hamilton next year during the summer months, but no announcement has yet been made ahead of F1's return at Spa this weekend following a three-week break.

Russell and Bottas were paired in the opening press conference ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix on Thursday, and were asked if they knew yet what they were doing next year.

"There is no news to share yet," said Bottas, who later added: "Maybe I know something, maybe I don't. But like I said, there's no news to share."

Asked directly if there was no news to share because a decision had not yet been made, or if it was not the right time to reveal anything, Bottas replied: "There is no news to share. I don't need to clarify any reasons for that.

"I think the same for me and George, that we have a job to do here, and there's no news, and we're going to focus on racing and getting maximum points for the team we are racing with."

Read Also:

George Russell, Williams on drivers parade

George Russell, Williams on drivers parade

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Russell doubted that any announcement about his future would be made before next weekend's Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

"[There's] no news to share at this stage," Russell said. "[We were] still obviously in discussions over the summer break, but there's nothing to announce one way or another this weekend, and probably not next weekend either, to be honest.

"I think it's no problem. Do things right rather than quickly, let's say."

Mercedes' decision is set to act as the first major domino in F1's driver market for next season, making it a significant decision for the paddock as a whole.

Russell said there was "no real problem" that nothing had been announced yet when asked by Motorsport.com if a delay in a decision would be at all problematic.

"We're both fortunate that we're both sort of looked after in ways by Mercedes, and we both trust them to look after our futures, one way or another," Russell said.

"From my side, speaking for myself, there are no real problems. Whether it's tomorrow, whether it's after Abu Dhabi, I guess you have to trust the people who are looking out for you."

Bottas agreed that it was "not problematic" that nothing had been announced yet as it was "nothing new" for him, having waited as late as Spa to have his future with Mercedes resolved in previous years.

"The situation overall, I'm fine with it completely," Bottas said. "Just really head down and focus for the weekend, and I'm pretty sure for the next weeks, they will definitely fly by with the triple header, and we have a pretty good battle on our hands as a team, so that's the main focus.

"Things eventually will sort themselves out, and we'll see."

Wolff had hinted before the summer break that the team may not necessarily go public with its driver decision immediately after it had been made.

Speaking exclusively to Motorsport.com, he said: "It is about us sticking our heads together here and with Mercedes, to draw out the future of our driver line-up. We will take a decision over the summer and then we will decide when to communicate it."

Should Bottas leave Mercedes after five seasons, the Finn is understood to be high on Alfa Romeo's shortlist for 2022. 

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Alpine announces Alonso renewal for 2022 F1 season
Previous article

Alpine announces Alonso renewal for 2022 F1 season

Next article

How Schumacher’s trust made F1 engineering fun

How Schumacher’s trust made F1 engineering fun
Load comments
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021