Mercedes had to go through a lot of lengthy negotiations and late confirmations for their 2021 driver lineup.
To prevent that from happening again, Toto Wolff wants the driver deals for 2022 to be signed by this summer. The team is currently aiming for an eighth title this season.
The biggest reason why Wolff wants this list to be prepared so early was because of Hamilton’s late confirmation in February this year.
Hamilton is currently on a one-year contract and as a result there is uncertainty whether he will continue next year in case he claims his eighth title.
“I very much hope so; the journey that we have had together was very successful. He has been a Mercedes driver – a Mercedes kid since his go-karting years,” Wolff said.
“He never raced a single weekend in Formula 1 without a Mercedes power unit, so it’s the logical continuation of the story.”
With Hamilton’s future uncertain in Mercedes and drawn-out negotiations a possible hindrance, Wolff wants to get the confirmation as soon as possible.
“We don’t want to leave it until January to confirm the two drivers. Valtteri [Bottas] was pretty regular during the summer – this is when it should happen. Also, to give the driver peace of mind, or be able to concentrate on the job.”
The Silver Arrows has two of the most desired seats in Formula 1. Williams’ driver and Mercedes junior George Russell has already substituted for Hamilton once at the Sakhir Grand Prix last year and is one of the contenders.
“Obviously for next year there’s lots of balls in the air and we will always try to do the best for the team long-term while also giving total loyalty to our current driver line-up.”
Mercedes currently has its complete focus on Imola Grand Prix next weekend.
Who do you think is a strong fit for the Silver Arrows? Let us know in the comments below!