2022 team-mate will not dictate Hamilton talks

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes

The question of which driver will partner Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in 2022 will not play a part in his own contract talks, according to Toto Wolff.

While speculation continues to surround Valtteri Bottas and George Russell, the seven-time World Champion has his own future to resolve having only signed a deal until the end of the 2021 season back in February.

Prior to the Styrian Grand Prix, Hamilton said he saw no reason for Mercedes to part ways with Bottas and said he has really enjoyed working with the Finn over the last five seasons.

But, during his own contract negotiations, the matter of whether it will be Bottas or Russell alongside Hamilton in 2022 will not be a factor in the discussions.

Portuguese GP podium 2021
Portuguese GP podium 2021

“We have never discussed preferences or not about line-ups,” said the Mercedes boss via Sky F1.

“That is never something that is part of his thinking.

[Talks are] pretty laid back because it’s going well. We are discussing.

“There are no stumbling blocks. An agreement is something that takes a few days longer. So good talks.”

Asked if he was tempted about the prospect of pairing two British drivers together in Hamilton and Bottas, Wolff added: “Nationality has never played a role.

“We are an international company, we are global, and you want to choose the best drivers.”

As for Bottas and his future, Wolff has set out what the Finn needs to do in order to keep his seat.

“We need to evaluate the situation for the future,” Wolff said. “Valtteri had some really good weekends but he also had some off weekends.

“We just need to minimise those, and then we will take a decision.”

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