Wolff says Hamilton “never discussed” his team-mate preferences

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton never discussed who he’d like (or wouldn’t like) as his team-mate at Mercedes.

While both Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff already announced their desire to keep working together in 2022, it is still unknown who will partner the Briton after this year.

Despite some journalists suggesting Lewis prefers Valtteri Bottas as his team-mate, Wolff says he never expressed any such preference to the team.

“We have never discussed preferences or not about line-up,” the Austrian told Sky Sports F1.

“That is never something that’s part of his thinking.”

With George Russell continuously being brought up as a strong candidate for a Mercedes seat next year, the media has been suggesting that the team might be looking to benefit from marketing opportunities of an all-British lineup. Wolff says that is not the case.

“Nationality has never played a role. We are an international company and we are global and you want to choose the best drivers.”

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Ultimately, the Austrian says Hamilton’s opinion is valued within the team, but the driver line-up is Mercedes’ decision.

“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 taking about drivers there is nothing we are not sharing with him, it’s transparent.

“But the other way around too, when I speak to Valtteri, it is open. When I speak to George, it is very much open because I don’t want to have any hidden agendas.

“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 minimise those. And then we will take the decision.

“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,” concluded Wolff.

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