“Max is certainly a star of the first magnitude” – Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff has suggested they are keeping their options open for the drivers’ seat next season.
With Valtteri Bottas looking increasingly likely to be heading towards the Mercedes’ exit door, speculation has escalated on the potential replacements.
Team boss Toto Wolff has given a fresh update, listing down the three main contenders. Alongside that, he has also hinted at looking beyond the list, but that feels a tad too unlikely.
“We always evaluate who might be behind the wheel of a Mercedes in the future. Max is certainly a star of the first magnitude in the future, but he is not the only one to be. I think there is a group of really good young drivers who have not yet had a winning car available and from this point of view it will be very interesting to see how their careers develop.”
— formularacers (@formularacers_) May 12, 2021
Toto Wolff keeping options open
Apart from the ever-impressive Max Verstappen, Mercedes juniors Esteban Ocon and George Russell are the expected candidates. When asked about them, he hinted at Bottas’ seat being confirmed for this season, but not beyond that.
“We will evaluate both choices (Ocon and Russell).
“Valtteri is one of our drivers and I will always be loyal to our drivers. But we all have an obligation to evaluate the future, to have long-term plans and in this regard, we must consider all the possible options for both cars. And since we have two Mercedes juniors, Esteban (Ocon) and George, we have to evaluate everything.
“I would add that we are also keeping an eye on other young guys who are emerging, but today there are only two drivers driving a Mercedes and they are Valtteri and Lewis.”