In the wake of the George Russell vs. Valtteri Bottas controversy, Mercedes executives have a “diversity of viewpoints.”
Toto Wolff, Mercedes team chief, has disclosed that the Brackley-based squad is split on who will drive with Lewis Hamilton next season.
Toto Wolff has stated that the Mercedes team is split on who should partner world champion Lewis Hamilton for the 2022 season. There have been numerous rumors that Valtteri Bottas will be replaced for the new season, with George Russell being the most frequently mentioned candidate.
Wolff, Mercedes’ team principal, remained tight-lipped on whether he and Mercedes had reached a final decision, saying that all of the major stakeholders, including himself and Daimler’s owning board members, needed to reach an agreement.
This decision should be decided before the Belgian Grand Prix weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, which begins on August 27.
Wolff told GPFans Global, “We want to take the decision during the summer [break].”
“Within the team and the Daimler board, there are a variety of perspectives, and we just need to put our heads together and say, ‘OK, what is everyone thinking?’”
Russell is widely regarded as not only Bottas’ replacement, but also as part of Mercedes’ long-term strategy for when seven-time champion Hamilton retires.
Russell is a Mercedes young driver presently on loan to Williams after spending the previous two seasons there.
Several big name drivers, including Hamilton’s bitter title challenger Max Verstappen, who is contracted with Red Bull till the end of 2023, were ruled out of contention for the 2022 drive in the same interview by Wolff.
“I think Verstappen and his entourage are extremely content where they are,” Wolff said when questioned about the potential of the Dutchman switching allegiance from Red Bull.
“Why not maintain it that way? Red Bull is their team and their home.
“I believe we have our plans in place with our drivers, and Ferrari has a fantastic lineup, and Lando Norris at McLaren appears to be in good shape, so I believe the course is set.
“We aren’t in the market for a driver.”
Red Bull will make their own decision over Verstappen’s partner for next year.
Sergio Perez is now driving for the team alongside Christian Horner and Helmut Marko, however Christian Horner and Helmut Marko are not. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”