The two drivers in contention to be appointed as Lewis Hamilton’s team mate next year say there is “no news” on their future ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, but refused to confirm whether a decision had been taken.Valtteri Bottas said “there’s no news to share yet” when asked if Mercedes had decided to retain him for a sixth season in 2022.
Mercedes had previously indicated a decision would be taken during the summer, but team principal Toto Wolff has since indicated an announcement will not be made until September.
“Maybe I know something, maybe I don’t, but like I said there’s no news to share,” said Bottas.
Williams driver George Russell, who is under consideration by Mercedes to take Bottas’ place, echoed his words.
“No news to share at this stage,” said Russell. “Obviously [we were] in discussions over the summer break but there’s nothing to announce, one way or another, this weekend, and probably not next weekend either to be honest. Which I think is no problem – do things right rather than quickly.”
“We’re both fortunate that we are both looked in ways by Mercedes and we both trust them to look after our futures one way or another,” Russell added. “From my side there is no real problems and whether it’s tomorrow, whether it’s after Abu Dhabi, you have to trust the people who are looking out for you.”
Bottas was unwilling to reveal whether the pair had been told of a decision but that an announcement will be made later.
“There is no news to share,” he said. “I don’t need to clarify any reasons for that.”
Since he joined Mercedes in 2017, Bottas has had a succession of single-year extensions to his contracts. The delay in confirming his position for next season does not pose any problems for him, he said.
“It’s not problematic, it’s nothing new for me,” he said. “The situation overall, I’m fine with it completely, just really head down and focus for the weekend.
“I’m pretty sure the next few weeks will fly by with the triple-header and the battle in our hands as a team is the main focus. Things eventually will sort themselves out and we’ll see.”
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