Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said he never discussed with Lewis Hamilton who his teammate should be.

Hamilton said yesterday that he already started negotiation talks with Mercedes over his contract for the 2022 season, and admitted he wants Valtteri Bottas to continue in the team, saying “he is a fantastic teammate and I don’t necessarily see that it needs to change.”

“We have never discussed preferences about line-up,” Toto Wolff told Sky Sports. “That is never something that is part of his thinking.

“Lewis is part of the team and has always been in the inner circle of decision making because simply we value his opinion,” Wolff said in a press conference. “And in the same way, when we’re talking about drivers, there’s nothing we’re not sharing with him. It’s transparent.

“But the other way around, too, when I speak to Valtteri, it’s open. When I speak to George, it’s very much open because I don’t want to have any hidden agendas.

“And we need to evaluate the situation for the future. Valtteri had some really good weekends but he also had some off weekends and we just need to minimise those.

“Then we will take a decision and whatever decision we will be taking, Valtteri or George, the person that’s involved in that, will be hearing that first. And that is the driver.”

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