Toto Wolff Not Willing to Go the Red Bull Way for Bottas Russell Situation

Published 11/27/2021, 8:48 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 26, 2021 Mercedes’ Team Principal Toto Wolff with Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Reigning Champions Mercedes are facing an intense fight from Red Bull for the double title this season. Max Verstappen is leading the drivers’ championship with an 8-point lead over Lewis Hamilton. The back-to-back wins for Hamilton have pushed this championship towards a nail-biting end. There have been suggestions to replace Valtteri Bottas with George Russell for the final two races. Bottas is leaving Mercedes after five years to join Alfa Romeo alongside Guanyu Zhou for the 2022 season. Meanwhile, Russell is all set to be promoted to Mercedes to share a seat with the seven-time world champion. However, reports suggest that Toto Wolff has rejected this idea.

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With this championship race growing closer with every race, suggestions for this ‘swap’ are not surprising. RedBull has done this in the previous seasons with Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon, who were driving for Toro Rosso, now Alpha Tauri.

Toto Wolff is not interested in this suggested move

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Toto Wolff has been at the helm of the Brackley team since 2013 and Mercedes has dominated the sport in a fashion never seen before. However, this season has not been a cakewalk for Hamilton and Mercedes. RedBull is putting up a fight for every point. Owing to Bottas’ inconsistency in a few races, rumors about elevating the young Brit were making rounds. Nevertheless, the idea was dismissed out of hand by the Austrian Boss.

The idea was professed by many, including Sky Germany broadcaster Olivier Zwartyes, who said: “I would actually think about it.” However, he further reported that the idea is dismissed by Wolff. “Toto Wolff has already been asked about this and said ‘there is nothing like that in our team’,” said Zwartyes as reported by planetf1.

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The idea has been there for a while

Russell is nearing the end of his ‘loan’ contract with Williams. The driver had been there to fill a vacant seat in the Mercedes last year during the Sakhir Grand Prix. He impressed everyone with a front-row start and an exceptional race which was hindered by a late puncture. Naturally, talks like these are bound to happen whenever Bottas fails to match up with the lofty standards set by the team.

Formula One F1 – Brazilian Grand Prix – Jose Carlos Pace Circuit, Sao Paulo, Brazil – November 12, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in action during qualifying REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli

Similar news of a mid-season swap between Bottas and Russell was also dismissed by the Brackley Team boss as “nonsense.” “Bottas is really good – he can take on anyone in the field. And again and again, he is able to drive faster than Lewis, like last time in Portimao qualifying,” said Wolff as reported by Grandprix.

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Rituraj Tripathi

370 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

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