Wolff Offers Latest F1 Contract Update on Mercedes Trio Hamilton-Bottas-Russell

Published 06/24/2021, 9:03 AM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – 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)


With both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas running out of contract at the end of the season, the Mercedes seat is the most talked about on the F1 paddock at the moment. Furthermore, George Russell, who is part of the team’s young drivers program, is also one of the suitors for getting the seat.

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Team principal Toto Wolff has given some insights of the situation and is well aware of the decision he will soon have to make. However, he is confident that Hamilton will be with the team for next season as well.

Mercedes boss, Wolff teases about who will be at the team next year

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Speaking to ESPN about Hamilton, who has already spoken of his desire to stay in F1, Wolff said, “Yes, that is the case. Our relationship between the team and him feels so natural today, through highs and lows. I cannot imagine us and him going in separate directions next year.

“It was a one-year deal because we didn’t get to spend enough time with each other [negotiating further]. But that is what we are doing now, we are spending time with each other privately and obviously here [at the race track] in a business environment.”

Speaking about whether the team had taken a call on Bottas‘ future, the Austrian said, “I can 100 percent rule it out. There is no decision that has been made, not even conversations that have been had. His future is in his hands it only comes down to his driving.

“We need a combination of the two best drivers in the team and there is no doubt that we love Valtteri from a personality standpoint, what he adds to the team, and he needs to put in the performances that is what counts.

Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 8, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas during the press conference after qualifying in third position FIA/Handout via REUTERS

“We have always been very transparent with him, and I think that is most important. Be transparent with your drivers. There is no hidden agenda.”

“The seat in the Mercedes [for 2022] is between Valtteri and George and it’s a decision that we need to take in the best interest of the team.”

And finally, talking about Russell, Wolff said, “That also plays a role in our thinking. If we take a decision for one or another, we need to make sure it was the right decision for the team. Both still have great opportunities in their Formula One careers — we are not the only team they can go to and be successful.

“I get on very well with both and I enjoy from a professional and personal standpoint their company, very different characters, and they both deserve to be in a top car. But there are only two seats we have,” the Austrian boss concluded.

Watch Story: When F1 Drivers Had a Blast on Top Gear Featuring Hamilton, Vettel & Ricciardo

The Silver Arrows must pay attention on this year’s title

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Amidst the driver market rumors, the Brackley-based squad needs all hands on deck for this year’s championship. The team have lost their lead in the title to rivals Red Bull after a string of poor performances in Monaco, Baku, and France.

Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 5, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton reacts after qualifying in second position Pool via REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Now they must face their fiercest rivals on the latter’s home turf – at the Red Bull Ring in Austria – for the upcoming weekend. Bottas and Hamilton must work together to close the 37-point gap to Red Bull in the coming races, so they can give their team their eighth title in the sport.

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Arpit Gomes

631 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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