“We don’t wait until December” – Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff had earlier suggested they could wait till February to decide between Valtteri Bottas and George Russell.
Valtteri Bottas might be tensed with his Mercedes future, but boss Toto Wolff seems to be enjoying the speculation, just like George Russell. On Friday, he had this to say when asked by reporters regarding the timeline for the Bottas-Russell decision.
“It could be somewhere in the winter I think. But I don’t know if it’s December, January, or February.
“It is highly possible because we have always been committed and loyal to the drivers. And this is what we’re doing.”
Toto Wolff was “just playing”!
The Austrian has now conveniently gone back on his words, claiming he “was just playing”. He went on to add that Silverstone is too early to take the call and that Monza is more likely to be the weekend when Russell is announced as Lewis Hamilton’s partner for next season.
“I was just playing. We don’t wait until December. It’s too late.
“Too early (Silverstone). Something nice for Monza, for you to have a nice story for example.”
bottas is finished. mercedes needs to give russell that seat
— niggathée chalamet (@iloveyoubhanoyi) June 18, 2021
Key factor to decide between Bottas and Russell?
Wolff has hinted that the experience of the drivers will be taken into consideration, but it will not be the main factor. Mercedes is focusing more on the performance of the two candidates, something Russell has an edge over, more so due to a lack of consistency on Bottas’ part.
“That (a fresh face) is 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.”