Mercedes may wait until winter to make Bottas/Russell decision

Mercedes may delay making a decision on its second 2022 Formula 1 seat until the winter, as it weighs up whether to retain Valtteri Bottas or take George Russell.

Mercedes may wait until winter to make Bottas/Russell decision

While the German car manufacturer hopes to nail down a fresh contract with Lewis Hamilton around the summer break, it is more uncertain about the timing of making a call on its second seat.

Both Bottas and Russell are out of contract at the end of this year, and there have been suggestions that the team could be poised to decide soon.

Read Also:

With Bottas having had some recent struggles, there was even wild speculation that Mercedes could announce signing Russell as early as the British Grand Prix.

But speaking at the French GP, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said that there was no rush to decide what to do – and that there was a chance the matter could drag on into the winter.

Asked about when there could be news, Wolff said: “Somewhere in the winter I think. But I don't know if it's December, January or February.”

Pushed on if the team would really wait that long, Wolff said: “It is highly possible because we have always been committed and loyal to the drivers. And this is what we're doing.”

Although Bottas has had a fair few disappointments this year, Wolff said that the ball was very much in the Finn’s court about whether or not he could convince Mercedes to keep him.

Asked about what Bottas had to do to stay with Mercedes, Wolff said: “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.”

Wolff was also clear that the final decision would be based on ultimate performance, and there would no temptation for Mercedes to make the switch purely for a change of line-up.

“That [a fresh impetus] is one of the 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.”

shares
comments

Related video

F1 faces "serious problem" over tyre failures, says Aston Martin
Previous article

F1 faces "serious problem" over tyre failures, says Aston Martin

Next article

French Grand Prix qualifying – Start time, how to watch, channel

French Grand Prix qualifying – Start time, how to watch, channel
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022