Mercedes team manager Toto Wolff said a decision has already been made on who of George Russell or Valtteri Bottas will be Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 teammate next year, although this has not been yet been made public.
The Williams driver is widely expected in the seat of the Mercedes and further proved his class by securing second place on the Belgian Grand Prix grid.
When asked after qualifying at Spa if a decision had been made as to whether it would be Bottas or Russell and it just hadn’t been revealed, Wolff replied: “Yes !”.
He added that “other factors” had to be taken into account for the announcement.
“Today doesn’t make any difference. We know what we have with George. He was exceptional in the junior categories, he was exceptional at Williams, he was exceptional when he was with us in Bahrain. needed that ultimate proof, then something wouldn’t have worked. But the decision takes other factors into account as well and that is why it was not announced. “
While Wolff hasn’t directly addressed these other factors, it comes in line with his wish for plans to be completed for both drivers, with Bottas expected at Alfa Romeo rather than Williams.
“If it had been an easy decision we would have made it sooner because we know what we have with Valtteri and we know what we have with George. Both deserve to be managed in the best possible way because they both are family and we hold them in high regard. “
“There are pros and cons like with any driving duo and at the end of the day there is no perfect discussion. We just have to deal with the situation well with the driver who will not be in a Mercedes. next year and make sure he has an exciting program. “