Opinion | Russell makes things very difficult for Wolff as Mercedes team boss

15-06-2021 08:36 | Updated: 15-06-2021 14:31
by GPblog.com
Column
Opinion | Russell makes things very difficult for Wolff as Mercedes team boss

On Monday, a rumour emerged that Toto Wolff has allegedly informed George Russell's management that he has the Mercedes seat for 2022. It puts the Mercedes team boss in a predicament.

Wolff has a large portfolio

Toto Wolff has a large portfolio. Not only is he team boss of Formula 1 team Mercedes, but he also has shares in Mercedes and in Aston Martin. Not the F1 team, but the brand owned by his friend Lawrence Stroll. Furthermore, he is the CEO of the Mercedes F1 team, he is also closely involved with the juniors in his training and clients Williams and Mercedes.

So there are a lot of interests that Wolff has to balance, and it seems that Wolff is getting a little bit entangled in his different interests. The big question is how the Austrian will handle this, because how long can he keep both drivers happy? Both George and Valtteri would like clarity on where they will be driving in 2022 as soon as possible after the summer break. If these drivers start seeing each other as teammates, Mercedes will become a very big concern.

The manager of Bottas

The biggest problem for Wolff is only now surfacing. The top man has a good relationship with Bottas. He contacted the Finn when Nico Rosberg left and offered him a contract. For seasons Wolff relied on Bottas, but that now seems to be coming to an end.

Just like two years ago, Wolff is in doubt. Should he ditch the driver whose career is being mapped out by him for talent from the Mercedes squad? Back then it was a chance for Esteban Ocon, but while everyone understood the choice for Bottas back then, public opinion is now more in favour of George Russell.

Will Russell be preferred?

In that respect, Russell's good performance puts Wolff in a difficult situation, which will also raise some questions for Wolff himself. Is he perhaps a stakeholder in a little too many things?

With Monday's rumour, it looks more and more likely that Russell will indeed get the seat next to Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in 2022. With that, Bottas will be pushed aside, but Wolff may be arranging a deal for him at Williams. 

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