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Start Emilia Romagna GP
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Mercedes

Wolff wants 2022 Mercedes driver line-up confirmed earlier

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has no intention of letting his driver contract negotiations dragging on as long as they did for 2021.

Article
To news overview © Mercedes

Toto Wolff doesn't want to have the issue of his team driver line-up hanging over him for as long as it did for this season.

While Mercedes signed Valtteri Bottas for 2021 late in '20, it wasn't until January '21 that Lewis Hamilton's contract extension was confirmed for another season.

Wolff explained that the intention for next season is to get their driver line-up confirmed earlier, in order to focus entirely on the upcoming regulation changes.

"Certainly, I mean, we don't want to leave it until January to confirm the two drivers," Wolff told RacingNews365.com and other members of the press. "We usually confirm during the summer. This is when it should happen.

"Also to give the driver peace of mind, and be able to concentrate on the job.

"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 whilst giving total loyalty to our current driver lineup, we're not doubting Valtteri or Lewis, but discussions obviously are going to happen, but not in January next year."

There's plenty of speculation as to who Merc's driver line-up might be, with Hamilton and Bottas both on such short-term contracts. Hamilton may choose to walk away from the sport if he breaks the record for the most successful driver ever, while Mercedes may choose to promote George Russell up from Williams.

There's also been rumours that Max Verstappen could be snaffled away by Mercedes, despite an extension to his Red Bull contract last season.

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