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Spa deadline for decision on Mercedes 2022 line-up

NEWS STORY
17/07/2021

Toto Wolff has admitted that he has set next month's Belgian Grand Prix as the deadline by which time a decision will be made on the team's 2022 line-up.

Having not firmed up this year's line-up until the weeks before pre-season testing, the German team doesn't want any such complications next time around, and with Lewis Hamilton on board it now has to be decided who will partner him.

While fans want to see George Russell given the opportunity, Hamilton prefers to maintain the current status quo and retain Valtteri Bottas for a sixth season.

Bottas, whose 2021 deal was announced last August, has admitted that he wants a decision on Mercedes plans for 2022 by the summer break, the Finn having claimed that he has other options should Russell get the nod.

"I think it's important for Valtteri and George to know where they will be driving next year," said Wolff. "That's going to happen. I expect some questions in Spa."

Russell, a protege of the German team, staked his claim on the second seat last year when he deputised for Hamilton when the seven-time world champion tested positive for Covid and was forced to miss the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Narrowly missing out on pole, the Briton's efforts were thwarted in the race by a late puncture.

While Bottas fails to impress on a regular basis, strong one weekend and MIA the next, Russell's second successive drive to a place in Q3 puts the German team under a lot of pressure when it comes to making its decision.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Silverstone, here.

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1. Posted by Greg, 17/07/2021 11:46

"Fingers crossed for George"

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