Mercedes has already decided second driver of 2022, announces Wolff

toto Wolff revealed that the Mercedes already made your decision between George Russell and Valtteri boots about who will compete for the team in the Formula 1 in 2022. The team has been analyzing for several months who will be the partner of Lewis Hamilton next season, having signed a new two-year contract with the seven-time world champion earlier this year.

The Finn has been running for the team since 2017 and helped the team win four constructors’ championships, but could be replaced next year by the Briton from Williams, which is a member of the German automaker’s young pilots program.

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Mercedes has previously said it expected to make a decision at the August break, but no announcements were made before returning to Spa this weekend.

Russell and Bottas remained shy about any choice during the FIA ​​press conference last Thursday (26). The two pilots said that “there was still no news to share”.

However, team chief Wolff revealed this Saturday (28) that a decision has already been made, answering “yes” on two separate occasions when the question was asked of him and adding in an answer: “I have always been genuine with you. “

The Williams driver had a gala display in qualifying for the Belgian GP, ​​staking the front row and second place in torrential rain. It was the team’s best result since the 2017 Italian GP.

Wolff joked that he was “a little disappointed, because [Russell] should have taken pole,” but added that performance made no difference to Mercedes’ view of him or his considerations.

“I think we know what we have with George,” said the boss. “He has stood out in the junior categories, he has stood out at Williams and he has stood out since Bahrain [primeira etapa do ano]. If I needed definitive proof, something would be wrong. The decision also considers other factors.”

He also spoke about the importance of ensuring that any driver not racing for Mercedes next year has a good alternative option: “If it had been an easy decision, we would have taken it sooner, because we know what we have with Valtteri and we know what we have. with Russell.”

“Both deserve to be taken care of as best they can because they’re both part of the family and we keep them high. So there are pros and cons, as with any pairing.”

“We just need to manage the situation well with the driver who won’t be on the team next season, make sure there’s an exciting program and, on the other hand, approach the situation internally as we’ve always done,” he concluded.

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