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Friday, September 24, 2021

Mercedes needs Bottas, Russell futures secured earlier than announcement

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Mercedes has been weighing up for a while who will companion Hamilton on the group in 2022, contemplating present Williams driver Russell as a alternative for Bottas.

Russell has been a part of Mercedes’ younger driver programme since 2017, and has starred all through his time at Williams in F1 since debuting for the group in 2019.

Russell and Bottas have been coy about any resolution forward of final weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, saying there was “no information to share”, however group boss Toto Wolff revealed on Saturday that he had made up his thoughts.

Explaining the delay in making any announcement, Wolff stated it was “as a result of there are stakeholders which are concerned that we have to respect”.

George Russell, Williams FW43B

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Photograph by: Erik Junius

“So long as contracts aren’t signed, it is senseless to announce it,” he added.

Requested by Autosport if he wished each Bottas and Russell to have their future sorted earlier than making any announcement, Wolff replied: “Sure.

“It isn’t solely our name, however there are different events concerned and it’s important to all the time proceed with respect and with diligence.”

Alfa Romeo has been mooted as a potential touchdown spot for Bottas ought to Mercedes decide to advertise Russell into its senior group. The Sauber-run group is known to have positioned him on the prime of its shortlist for 2022 if he’s a free agent, however has been ready on Mercedes to decide first. 

Referring to his touch upon Saturday a few resolution already being made, Wolff clarified that he personally had decided, however that he’s “not the one one that’s concerned on this resolution”.

Bottas has raced for Mercedes since changing Nico Rosberg for the 2017 season, taking part in an element in 4 constructors’ championship victories since then.

Vallteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Vallteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Photograph by: Erik Junius

However the Finn has struggled for kind all through the present season, ending a race greater than third simply as soon as and failing to win a race.

The most recent setback for Bottas got here at Spa on Saturday when he may solely qualify eighth in moist circumstances, with a grid penalty for the Flip 1 collision in Hungary then dropping him exterior of the factors.

It meant he left Spa empty handed, whereas Russell scored 9 factors within the rain-shortened race after being labeled in second place because of his qualifying efficiency, marking his first F1 podium.



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