Toto Wolff “cannot imagine” Hamilton leaving Mercedes in 2022

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Toto Wolff says Mercedes’ relationship with Lewis Hamilton “feels so natural” and discusses the team’s choice between George Russell and Valtteri Bottas for 2021.

In 2021 Lewis Hamilton signed a one-year contract with Mercedes, so it’s only natural that his future is a subject of interest for the media.

In an interview with ESPN Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says he is confident Lewis will stay with the team.

“Our relationship between the team and him feels so natural today, through highs and lows,” the Austrian said.

“I cannot imagine us and him going in separate directions next year.”

Wolff goes on to explain why the 2021 deal with Hamilton was only for one year.

“It was a one-year deal because we didn’t get to spend enough time with each other.

“But that is what we are doing now, we are spending time with each other privately and obviously here in a business environment.”

With speculation surrounding Valtteri Bottas’ future with Mercedes, and George Russell being brought up as a possible candidate for his seat, Wolff says the Finn still has time to convince the team to keep him beyond 2021.

“That’s the charm of the situation. His future is in his hands — it only comes down to his driving.

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“We need a combination of the two best drivers in the team and there is no doubt that we love Valtteri from a personality standpoint, what he adds to the team, and he needs to put in the performances — that is what counts.

“We have always been very transparent with him, and I think that is most important. Be transparent with your drivers. There is no hidden agenda.

“The seat in Mercedes is between Valtteri and George and it’s a decision that we need to take in the best interest of the team.”

Wolff was then asked if the possibility of Russell, a Mercedes junior driver, going to another team in 2022 plays a role in the team’s decision making process?

“That also plays a role in our thinking. If we take a decision for one or another, we need to make sure it was the right decision for the team.

“Both still have great opportunities in their Formula One careers — we are not the only team they can go to and be successful.

“I get on very well with both and I enjoy from a professional and personal standpoint their company, very different characters, and they both deserve to be in a top car.

“But there are only two seats we have,” concluded Mercedes’ team boss.

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