Bottas, Russell decision might have to wait until winter

2021 French Grand Prix, Friday – Steve Etherington

The decision on whether to confirm Valtteri Bottas for the 2022 season or sign the young George Russell might require more time than expected.

Mercedes would like to renew Lewis Hamilton’s contract as soon as possible. On the other hand, it still has to decide the second driver.

Bottas and Russell’s contracts will expire at the end of the season, and some rumors say that Russell is going to replace Bottas at Mercedes.

Bottas has been struggling a bit in the last few races, and some people thought that the Silver Arrows might announce a change in their line-up before the British GP.

However, Toto Wolff said that the team wants to take its time before making the decision, maybe until the winter.

“Somewhere in the winter, I think. But I don’t know if it’s December, January, or February,” said Wolff.

It was also asked whether the team would wait that long before deciding who to sign for the next season: “It is highly possible because we have always been committed and loyal to the drivers. And this is what we’re doing.”

Another question was what Bottas has to do to stay with the team: “Drive the car fast on a Saturday and Sunday. If he does that, he puts himself in a very good situation in terms of next year.”

Finally, Wolff concluded by saying that it is important to have a driver who can always perform at his best even in a difficult situation. That is something important to think about before making a decision.

“That [a fresh impetus] is one of the things that need to be considered? Absolutely. But it’s not the main driver.

“The main driver is consistent performance. Especially in this difficult year, we need two drivers that are racing right there. If one is having an off weekend or DNFs, you need the other one to bring it home. And that’s why it’s always important that both are just on the max of their ability.”

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