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Bottas, Russell still waiting on Mercedes’ 2022 decision

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Valtteri Bottas and George Russell are still waiting on Mercedes to make a final decision on who will be Lewis Hamilton’s teammate in 2022.

Bottas has been Hamilton’s teammate since replacing Nico Rosberg at the start of 2017 but his future with the team has looked increasingly doubtful over recent seasons. Some of that has been down to the emergence of Mercedes junior driver Russell, who has been with Williams since the start of 2019.

Mercedes had said it planned to make a decision in time for Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix, the first race after F1’s summer break. However, it appears the decision has been delayed, with Mercedes not expected to finalise plans until next weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix at the earliest.

“There’s no news to share,” Bottas said on the topic on Thursday. “I don’t need to clarify the reasons for that, we have a job to do here.

“There’s no news, we’re going to focus on the racing and getting maximum points for the teams we’re racing for.”

He added: “Maybe I know something, maybe I don’t. But like I said, there’s no news to share”.

There was a growing feeling in the F1 paddock before the summer break that Russell would get the nod over Bottas, who has been linked with a move to Alfa Romeo or back to former team Williams.

Russell said he is happy to wait on Mercedes to weigh up the decision.

“Still obviously in discussions over the summer break but there’s nothing to announce one way or another this weekend or probably not next week either, to be honest,” Russell said.

“I think it’s no problem. Do things right rather than quickly, let’s say.

“I think we’re both fortunate that we’re both looked after in ways by Mercedes and we both trust them to look after our futures one way or another. From my side, speaking for myself, there are no real problems.

“Whether it’s tomorrow, whether it’s after Abu Dhabi [in December], I guess you have to trust the people who are looking out for you.”

Bottas agreed that he had no issue with the wait.

“For my side it’s not problematic, it’s nothing new for me,” he said. “So, the situation overall, I’m fine with it, completely. Just head down and focus on the weekend.

“I’m pretty sure the next three weekends will fly by with the triple header, we have a pretty good battle in our hands, as a team. That’s the main focus but, you know, things eventually will sort themselves out, and then we’ll see.”

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