Toto Wolff Reveals Mercedes’ Plan to Deal With Hamilton, Bottas and Russell After ’21 F1 Season

Published 02/09/2021, 1:46 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas after the race Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


Following the long wait, Mercedes finally affirmed that the duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will be teaming up for the 2021 season for the fifth consecutive year. However, neither of the drivers possesses a contract beyond 2021, leaving the doors open for a potentially fresh line-up.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

So, could Mercedes run after a line-up comprising young drivers from the 2022 season? Well, Toto Wolff, felt so.

Although the Silver Arrows are still keeping the Bottas-Lewis team up their first priority, Toto hinted at George Russell, potentially securing a seat at Mercedes come 2022.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

What did Toto Wolff say?

Toto revealed that Lewis and Bottas’s loyalty to the team is pushing them to prioritize the duo over other rising young talents.

The team needs to decide long term what we are going to do about drivers,” the Austrian is quoted as saying by The Race.

Valtteri and Lewis have our 100% commitment and loyalty for 2021. We will support them with everything we have and we will then look beyond this year and say, ‘What is the line-up that we imagine in 2022 and onwards?’

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP, Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP and Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff talk on stage at the F1 Live event during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

And our first discussions are going to be with Valtteri and Lewis, respecting our values of loyalty and integrity.”

Valtteri Bottas never managed to shine at Mercedes, as his occasional achievements have always been overshadowed by his teammate’s astonishing consistency.

Hence, 2021 could be Bottas’s final shot at defeating Lewis. And if he fails yet again, Mercedes will most likely discard him from the line-up and chase after George Russell.

Young drivers are the future: Mercedes team principal

Despite prioritizing Lewis and Bottas for the 2022 season, Toto Wolff revealed that Mercedes are still eyeing the young drivers for the team’s long-term future.

On the other side, the young drivers are the future. And therefore we need to consider how we want to set ourselves up for the years beyond,” he said.

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and Esteban Ocon of France and Mercedes GP talk in the Paddock after practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

As of now, Russell looks like the best option for the Silver Arrows, if they decide to terminate either of their current driver’s contract. Apart from the Briton, Mercedes are still keeping a watch over Esteban Ocon‘s progression, who is still finding his groove following the 2020 F1 comeback.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Finally, there is Max Verstappen. The German outfit have always looked eager to bring the Dutchman into their team, but Red Bull have constantly stood as an obstacle between the two’s union.

Overall, with better options out there, will Mercedes manage to announce a fresh line-up for the 2022 season? Well, only time will tell.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Toto Wolff: How Did a Candle Seller Go on to Run the Mercedes F1 Team?

about 1 year ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Rohit Kumar

747 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT