Toto Wolff asking Lewis Hamilton’s opinion on Bottas/Ocon decision

16-08-2019 13:42
by Bevan Youl
General
Toto Wolff asking Lewis Hamilton’s opinion on Bottas/Ocon decision

Toto Wolff has admitted to seeking an opinion from Lewis Hamilton over who should be his Mercedes teammate for 2020 after the debate between whether it should be Valtteri Bottas or Esteban Ocon.

Bottas’ contract with the Silver Arrows is up come the end of this season and no decision has been made as to whether he will remain at the team or be replaced.
 
Ocon lost his seat in Formula 1 for this year after being replaced at SportPesa Racing Point by Lance Stroll but was made a reserve driver for Mercedes for 2019 with a view to having a seat on the grid in 2020.
 
Hamilton has been with the team since 2013 and his current contract that he signed last year ends after the 2020 season, but Wolff has now asked for the Brits opinion on who should be in the other car next year.
 
Wolff said to La Gazzetta dello Sport: "We make this decision solely on the basis of the interest of the team.
 
"But Lewis has been with us for a long time, so, yes, I submitted our narrow list to him, asking for his opinion.

"He thinks exactly like us, both of them deserve to be his team-mate."

Part of the decision is whether Wolff goes for the experienced and older option in Bottas, or put his faith in the youth of Ocon, something he doesn’t have an issue with but is wary it doesn’t always work.

"It is a difficult decision because I have known Valtteri since Formula Renault and Esteban since he made his start in Formula 3,” Wolff added.

"There is the great theme of giving a young person a chance: in the recent history of the F1 only two drivers immediately shone with a top team: Lewis Hamilton with McLaren and Max Verstappen with Red Bull. 

"The latter was very good at giving the Dutchman the necessary time to grow, first in Toro Rosso and then for two years at Red Bull. At Ferrari or Mercedes there is a very high pressure. Having said that, they both deserve the place."

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