Mercedes will decide between Bottas and Russell “during the summer”

© Wolfgang Wilhelm for Daimler AG

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says the team will make a decision on who will be Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate “during the summer”, and the choice is between Valtteri Bottas and George Russell.

Now that Lewis Hamilton’s contract has been sorted, the question remains on who will be his partner in the second Silver Arrow. Toto Wolff gives more information on Mercedes’ plans.

“I think today is about Lewis and having that contract out of the way,” the Austrian said.

“We always said we wanted to give it the next few races to gain more clarity, and also happy Valtteri’s racing in Austria in my opinion was really good and he needs to consolidate that.

“He’s a known factor, and in the same way we know the strengths and weaknesses of George. That decision is going to be made during the summer.

“First [we’ll hold] discussions with George and Valtteri and then hopefully we are sorted before the end of the season.

“With Lewis we were clear [for] a while that we wanted to continue, so that was obvious for us. Now we can look at the second seat — it’s between those two.

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“And as I said we value them both for their strengths and for what they can contribute to the team.”

While some media outlets like to make up stories that Lewis wants to have the power to approve who his team-mate will be, Wolff says that is not the case.

“I think for Lewis it’s not important who sits in the other car, I think the sheer fact of having a competitor, a team and a driver that challenges him and challenges us is all the fun.

“And yeah, after seven years of success, difficult years with Ferrari where we had to stretch ourselves, very different challenges — bear in mind the regulation change for next year…

“I can tell you the ambiance and the mindset in the briefing room is so much fun like we haven’t had for many years,” concluded Mercedes’ team boss.

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