Wolff Denies Past Esteban Ocon ‘Situation’ Causing Delay in Bottas-Russell F1 Announcement

Published 08/31/2021, 8:38 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – April 30, 2021 Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff talks in the Team Principals Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Esteban Ocon was supposed to sign for Renault back in 2018, but the French-based outfit opted for Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo. Toto Wolff has stated that his dealings in the past haven’t had an effect on the George Russell Mercedes saga.

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However, instead of being extra cautious of similar situations in the future. Wolff stated that he doesn’t need to be as he deals with people he trusts and more important respects.

Toto Wolff doesn’t feel the need to be extra cautious when comes to drivers’ contract

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Wolff worked with Ocon to get a seat at Renault after Force India was taken over back in 2018. However, the deal didn’t go through as the French team signed Ricciardo instead for the 2019 season, and a year later Renault came calling for the French driver.

Speaking about this, and being extra careful with similar situations, the Mercedes boss said, as quoted by GPFans,No, it has nothing to do with the learnings from the Esteban situation because we deal with people that I trust and respect.”

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Esteban Ocon of France and Renault Sport F1 looks on from the garage during Day Two of F1 Winter Testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

“It’s purely a question of having everybody aligned and contracts signed,” the Austrian concluded.

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A lot of moving parts in Russell’s potential move to Mercedes states Wolff

The most-talked-about driver move has to be Russell‘s possible drive for the Silver Arrows next year and replacing Valtteri Bottas. However, for Wolff the situation is more complicated than it looks, stating there are a number of people involved.

He said, “It’s not only our call but there are other parties involved and you have to always proceed with respect and with diligence. The question that I was asked is whether I have made up my mind. I do, but I am not the only one who is involved in this decision.”

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – Second place qualifier George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes GP looks on in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

“There are stakeholders that are involved that we need to respect and as long as contracts are not signed, it makes no sense to announce [anything],” Wolff concluded.

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With neither drivers, Bottas or Russell signed an extension with their respective teams. What do you think will the Brackley-based squad do? Keep Bottas or bring in George to pair with Lewis Hamilton for the 2022 season. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Arpit Gomes

856 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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