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Bottas or Russell? Wolff says Mercedes will decide on Hamilton’s 2022 team mate over the summer

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RED BULL RING, SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - 2021/06/27: Mercedes AMG F1 Executive Director Toto Wolff looks

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says the reigning world champions will decide on the identity of Lewis Hamilton’s team mate during the next couple of months…

The Silver Arrows announced a new two-year contract for Hamilton on Saturday morning in Austria, which will extend his stay to until at least the end of 2023.

READ MORE: 'I’m pretty sure it’s not his last contract' says Wolff after Mercedes sign Hamilton until 2023

Wolff and his Mercedes team must now decide between incumbent Valtteri Bottas, part of the team since 2017, and Mercedes junior George Russell, who delivered his best-ever qualifying performance for Williams with P9 at the Red Bull Ring.

“Today is about Lewis and having that contract out of the way,” said Wolff on Saturday. “We always said we wanted to give it the next few races to gain more clarity.

We value them both for their strengths and for what they can contribute to the team

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff on Valtteri Bottas and George Russell

All you need to know about Lewis Hamilton's new two-year deal with Mercedes

“[We are] also happy Valtteri’s racing in Austria in my opinion was really good and he needs to consolidate that. He’s a known factor.

“In the same way we know the strengths and weaknesses of George, and that decision is going to be made during the summer.

READ MORE: Why F1’s most successful combination ever is continuing for two more years

“First [we will have] discussions with George and Valtteri and then hopefully we are sorted before the end of the season.”

He added: “We value them both for their strengths and for what they can contribute to the team.”

If Bottas stays on, it would be his sixth season with Mercedes, while Russell would almost certainly stay at Williams for a fourth year.

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