“Nationality has never played a role” – Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff has made it clear talks with Valtteri Bottas and George Russell over a potential 2022 seat will be very transparent.
Lewis Hamilton has given his thumbs up to Valtteri Bottas by suggesting “he is a fantastic teammate and I don’t necessarily see that it needs to change”. But Toto Wolff, apparently keen to bring in George Russell to partner compatriot Hamilton next season, has confirmed the latter does not have a decisive say in this.
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— formulayyyonee (@formulayyyonee) June 25, 2021
Wolff also gave weight to the Russell to Mercedes speculation by adding that an all-British line-up is not an issue with them. The name-dropping of Russell by the team boss should be a cause of discomfort for the struggling Bottas.
“We have never discussed preferences about the line-up. That is never something that is part of his (Hamilton) thinking.
“Nationality has never played a role. We are an international company and we are global and we want to choose the best drivers.
“Lewis is part of the team and has always been in the inner circle of decision making because simply we value his opinion. 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 minimize those. Then we will make 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.”