In Depth

F1: Mercedes, Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton are ready to commit for the long term

There has been doubts over the Silver Arrows’s future in Formula 1

Mercedes ‘keen to remain’ in F1

Earlier this week it was reported that six-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton is set to stay with Mercedes and sign a new two-year deal despite rumours of a move to Ferrari in 2021. 

And today, according to Motorsport.com in Italy, it’s also claimed that Mercedes and team principal Toto Wolff are ready to commit for the long term. 

Hamilton and Wolff are in the final season of their contracts and last year there was speculation that the Silver Arrows could be on the verge of walking away from F1

However, Motorsport.com journalist Roberto Chinchero says Mercedes will remain in the sport, Hamilton will stay until 2022 and any doubts over the team’s future will soon be resolved.  

Chinchero said: “Mercedes is keen to remain in Formula 1 for a long time, and confirmations on the plans launched from 2021 will arrive in the coming months. 

“With the exception of sensational strikes, Toto Wolff will renew his contract, following Lewis Hamilton, whose confirmation in the two-year period 2021/2022 according to some insiders has already been defined.

“The clouds over the future [of] Mercedes in Formula 1 will clear up with the arrival of the first confirmations of the new contracts.”

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Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas has signed a new deal for 2020

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

What about Bottas?

While British driver Hamilton looks ready to extend his stay with Mercedes, the future of his current team-mate Valtteri Bottas is unclear.

After finishing runner-up behind Hamilton in last year’s drivers’ championship, Bottas secured a one-year contract extension to continue with Mercedes for 2020. But like Hamilton his deal also expires at the end of the upcoming season.

Planet F1 reports that Mercedes’s choice of second driver for 2021 “won’t be announced until late this year”. It’s expected that Bottas will fight George Russell for that position.

But according to Motorsport.com in Italy “nothing can be given for sure, considering the number and the caliber of the drivers who will be released”.

Williams F1 driver George Russell

Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Russell would consider offers 

GrandPX reports that British driver Russell is concentrating on the season ahead at Williams Racing but says he would consider future offers from more competitive teams in F1.

The 21-year-old, who is part of the Mercedes stable, told Japanese publication Auto Sport Web: “Every driver in Formula 1 wants to be world champion and is looking for that chance. Any driver who gets a call from Mercedes, including me, would have to consider it. Mercedes is the team that dominates F1 today.

“I don’t want to think too far ahead. You risk not concentrating on the job at hand. If you continue to do a good job, you know that offers will come from somewhere. That’s why I focus on every race, every free practice. I know what I can do. Opportunities will come if you maximise your strengths in each and every session.” 

Williams struggled last season, winning only one point in the constructors’ championship, but Russell is confident that the team will improve in 2020.

“There’s still time before the pre-season testing and we are still improving,” he added. “At this point we are on the right path.”

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