Reviews Mercedes: GP Sachir is not an early shoot-out for 2022

20:10  05 december  2020
20:10  05 december  2020 Source:   de.motorsport.com

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With George Russell replacing Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes for the Sakhir Grand Prix, many were quick to term the weekend as a “ shoot - out ” between Russell and Valtteri Bottas as to who would drive for Mercedes in 2022 . But Silver Arrows Team Principal Toto Wolff has distanced himself from any such

READ MORE: Sakhir GP not a shoot - out between Russell and Bottas for 2022 Mercedes seat, insists Wolff. Like his team mate, meanwhile, Lando Norris was also having issues, running over a kerb and damaging his floor early on, forcing his McLaren team to carry out repairs, before then suffering an

Formula 1 team boss Toto Wolff assured, Mercedes with George Russell and Valtteri Bottas will not have a shoot-out for a cockpit in the 2022 season from

George Russell against Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes. Is the Mercedes team duel at the Sachir Grand Prix this weekend perhaps a qualifying drive for a cockpit in the world championship team? As the person in charge, Toto Wolff doesn't want to know anything about this and says: "No, not at all."

One shouldn't overestimate the situation in which Russell replaces the corona-positive Lewis Hamilton . Mercedes simply needed a replacement driver for Hamilton, nothing more.

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Mercedes GP . 13K likes. Formula One Team. Unofficial fan page. Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has expressed concern his team's qualifying strength may be a weakness at this weekend's Russian Grand Prix - while he is also wary of again being cursed by Netflix.

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"You can't call it a shoot-out if it's only about one or two races. That doesn't give you any meaningful data at all," says Wolff, but contradicts himself a little later.

Wolff explains: Bottas is set for 2021, it stays with

Then the Mercedes team boss explains: "This weekend and maybe next weekend we will get more data that will help us to better assess George's performance."

Either way: As a Hamilton replacement, Russell has the opportunity to recommend himself for higher tasks, but not for a Mercedes assignment in the 2021 season. Wolff makes that clear. He stressed: "There is no shoot-out. We have full confidence in Valtteri and are as loyal as ever. That is our position."

means: Bottas, who already has a contract for the Formula 1 season 2021 , does not need to fear for his place in the Mercedes team. And Russell, on the other hand, cannot hope for a spontaneous change in 2021, because Wolff adds: "We know that next year we'll be driving with Lewis and Valtteri."

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Mercedes have dominated the Japanese GP in the hybrid era and they picked up where they left off here, with Bottas pipping Hamilton in both "This is not what I would say is one of my strongest circuits and there's always areas you can improve. Valtteri got a massive tow on his fastest lap and

Hamilton still without a contract for 2021

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That Hamilton will remain in the world championship has not yet been officially confirmed. Mercedes is aiming for a contract extension with the seven-time world champion, but nothing has been sealed with a signature. The second Mercedes cockpit is therefore still unoccupied. To the overview with all still free cockpits for 2021!

George Russell © Provided by motorsport.com George Russell

George Russell in a Mercedes W11, which he drives instead of Lewis Hamilton

Photo: Motorsport Images

Russell doesn't get it, at least not so quickly. Wolff: "If George [as a Hamilton replacement in Sachir] sells well, then that is an indication that one day he will be in a good car and then hopefully fight for wins and titles. But that is still a long way off . He knows that."

The 22-year-old Briton must therefore "just do a decent job, make no mistakes and carry on as before" in order to advertise himself.

Ralf Schumacher: Why Mercedes should let George Russell drive

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Mercedes GP . 13K likes. Formula One Team. Unofficial fan page. See more of Mercedes GP on Facebook.

Gotta point out that the twist with Grosjean last GP was not so PG13. Lewis and Merc are fibbing about the positive test and are using this as a live-fire shootout between Valtteri and George From what I can remember George has been driving current Mercedes F1 cars for at least 4 years now?

Russell beats Bottas in Friday practice

Russell has already done this: In Friday practice he achieved two best times, each time faster than Bottas. But Wolff does not want to overestimate that.

"We have to be realistic: George is a highly valued young driver. You expect him to be quick," said the Mercedes team boss.

"He knows the team. It's a 50-second stretch where you have to be in the right place at the right time, with the right engine settings. From that point of view, it'll work fine. We'll assume George with the music to see. Let's see how the weekend ends. "

In the event that Russell would do better than Bottas, Wolff fears no internal construction sites, but says: "Valtteri was never someone to be built up. He knows where he stands. He knows his position in the team like us support each other. " And, according to Wolff, Bottas is also certain that he will not remain on the team for 2021.

With images from Motorsport Images .

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