Lewis Hamilton's 'natural ability is fantastic' says Button
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
The futures of Valtteri Bottas and George Russell have dominated headlines during F1’s mid-season hiatus, with Toto Wolff still to make a decision as to who will team up with Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes hotseat next season.
A decision was expected to be made during F1’s brief summer break, but Wolff has slightly delayed the announcement as he is still weighing up both sides.
In Bottas, he has an experienced driver who guarantees regular points but in exciting young prospect Russell, he potentially has someone for the future who could go onto become a world champion in his own right.
It is the talk of the town heading into the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend, and with Bottas struggling to find his best form – sitting fourth overall in the Drivers’ Standings – the pressure has ramped up on him.
And Wolff spoke out about the decision on Saturday ahead of qualifying in Belgium, hinting he may follow in the footsteps of Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari with his next decision by opting for potential over experience.
JUST IN: Max Verstappen crashes in Belgian Grand Prix practice to hand Lewis Hamilton advantage
Red Bull put their faith in youth when bringing in Max Verstappen in 2016, while also giving the likes of Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon a chance to prove their worth.
Meanwhile, Ferrari have two of the most exciting prospects on their books in Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz while McLaren are pinning their hopes on Lando Norris.
And Wolff has realised that may be the path to go down next as Mercedes look to continue their dominance in the Constructors’ Standings.
“Valtteri seems to have bad luck glued to his steering wheel,” Wolff told Sky Sports. “So he could have looked much better, maybe not won the amount of races that Lewis did, but he is much better than that. And you see on pace every Friday, every Saturday he is right there, if not quicker.
“But there is a generational change and every other of the top teams has one of those highly promising kids. So there is definitely an argument that we also need to look to the future going forward.”
Toto Wolff told Lewis Hamilton and George Russell pairing might be bad news for Mercedes
Sergio Perez signs new Red Bull deal and aims veiled warning at Max Verstappen
Martin Brundle explains why Mercedes might favour Valtteri Bottas over George Russell
Mercedes have pushed back their plans to announce their second driver for next season, but Wolff has admitted he wants to finalise his decision ‘sooner rather than later’.
“For us it was always important, whatever step we take, we need to know what would happen to George or to Valtteri if we decide for one of them, and that is something that I’m considering all the time,” Wolff said.
“And we are not going to take a decision unilaterally without knowing where the direction goes for the other one.”
While at a struggling Williams team, Russell has impressed this season with little to work with – having gained his first points for his team at the Hungarian Grand Prix before the mid-season break. He finished ninth behind Nicholas Latifi in eighth.
He has also shown his class when given the chance for Mercedes in the past. Russell endured heartache when stepping in for Hamilton at last season’s Sakhir Grand Prix following the seven-time world champion’s positive Covid test.
Russell appeared destined for a remarkable win on his debut for Mercedes but a tyre mix-up and then a puncture shattered his dreams in Bahrain before he eventually finished ninth.
Source: Read Full Article