Mercedes boss Toto Wolff doesn’t think there are a lack of options for his team in the driver market beyond 2020.
Six-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton has entered the final year of his contract with the team, and though he is expected to re-sign, racing alongside Valtteri Bottas means that both of Mercedes’ drivers are over 30.
George Russell, currently driving for Williams, is Mercedes’ most experienced junior driver after Esteban Ocon left to join Renault.
Max Verstappen has been linked with the German team before, but he is now tied down to Red Bull until 2023, while Ferrari moved to secure Charles Leclerc until 2024.
But, Wolff doesn’t believe Mercedes are short of options in the driver market, and even if they were then their run of six Drivers’ and Constructors’ title doubles makes them an attractive option for drivers.
” I think we have very exciting young drivers that are part of the Mercedes family, like George Russell, who is a Mercedes junior driver, who I foresee a bright future [for],” Wolff is quoted by Autosport.
“Then we have Esteban who is not too far away, who is with Renault today, but he’s a cousin of the Mercedes family today.
“And looking at Max and Charles, these guys will always strive to be in the fastest cars, and contracts are contracts, probably sometimes the detail is what is important and not the overhead line on how long a contract has been signed [for].
“And therefore, I see our duty in providing and producing the car that is the quickest, and then we will not run out of talent that will be keen and eager to drive these cars.”
Wolff is confident that Hamilton will sign a new contract with Mercedes, saying it is the “obvious pairing”.
“I think it is the obvious pairing going forward,” he said.
“We would like to have the fastest man in the car, and I know that Lewis wants to be in the fastest car so there’s an obvious mutual outcome.
“But you know, we travel around the world almost 10 months every year.
“We go on our nerves every second weekend. And what we do over winter is we leave each other in peace.
“The last conversation I had with him was in the evening before the Christmas party.
“We had a nice chat, that we would continue our discussion or start our discussion once he comes back from America and we have properly kicked off the season.
“I have great belief in the abilities of the team to attract the best drivers.
“And at the moment Lewis has proven that he is the best current driver with his six titles.
“And on the mid- and long-term, I would hope that we’re able to continue to provide technology to the best driver and attract them.”