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."

Read Also:

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

"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

Norris cleared to race in Belgian GP after Eau Rouge crash
Previous article

Norris cleared to race in Belgian GP after Eau Rouge crash

Next article

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

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