Wolff: No reason to change driver line-up just yet

22-04-2019 08:17 | Updated: 22-04-2019 10:53
by Bobby Vincent
General
Wolff: No reason to change driver line-up just yet

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has insisted there is no reason to even consider changing his driver line-up as it stands with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas recording three successive one-two finishes with the Silver Arrows.

Hamilton overtook his Finnish team-mate on Turn 1 in China to dominate from then on out and Mercedes are now pulling away from Ferrari in the constructors' championship standings.

"After a day like today, when we are P1 and P2, I'm not considering any other driver for the short-term," Wolff said following the Chinese Grand Prix. "What I decide for 2020 will be first discussed with Valtteri and Lewis once that decision is taken, it will be taken into account and we can plan for 2020."

Hamilton is contracted with Mercedes until the end of the 2020 season; whereas Bottas' expires at the end of the 2019 season - and former Force India driver and now reserve driver for the world champions, Esteban Ocon, has been heavily tipped as an ideal replacement for the Finn.

Red Bull Racing man Max Verstappen has been a surprise name thrown into the proverbial hat in recent weeks, but the Dutchman has dismissed reports he's been in constant contact with Wolff over his future; something Wolff echoes.

"I haven't got Max's number and I never have him on the phone," the Mercedes boss said to Race Fans. "As Max said rightly, I've known Jos (Max's father) since a long time, I consider him as a friend and we talk about babies and go-karting and when do we put our baby kids in a go-kart. And which team are we going to set-up. There is no talking about Max, nor his contract.

"I think for the right reasons Max is very committed to the Red Bull-Honda situation and rightly so. We are committed to our drivers. We are not planning to engage in any sort of discussions nor does Jos and Max. So I don't know where that came from."

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