Valtteri Bottas future: Toto Wolff responds to George Russell swap reports


Toto Wolff, the Mercedes F1 head honcho, has scrapped “nonsense” rumours that he is prepared to swap Valtteri Bottas for George Russell during the season.

An initial report from The Daily Mail claimed that there had been a loss of faith in Bottas and that the young Brit was potentially in line to take his place as one of Mercedes’ two competing drivers.

A Mercedes engineer had also said that there was some unrest within the camp due to Bottas’ slump in form. In addition to that, the engineer also cited Russell’s performance at last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix as a reason why the Williams driver may be in line to replace the Finn.

Those rumours have since been dismissed by Wolff, however, as he told Austrian newspaper Osterreich, as per, that this was all “nonsense.”

He then went on to praise Bottas and his attitude, stating: “Bottas is really good – he can take on anyone in the field. And again and again he is able to drive faster than Lewis, like last time in Portimao qualifying.

"Lewis deserves to be world champion through being more consistent."

It has been a slow and tricky start to the 2021 season for the 31-year-old, despite finishing on the podium in two of the three races.


However, both those podium places have been third spot, and the race in-between saw him DNF.

It's not just been at Mercedes where they've been talking about the rumours, however, as Red Bull's Christian Horner has claimed he'd be surprised if the switch went ahead.

Ralf Schumacher, Michael Schumacher’s younger brother, has also weighed in on the rumours, saying: “It makes no sense to swap Valtteri during the season.

“Of course, Bottas is not as strong as Hamilton, few are. But compared to Imola, he clearly improved in Portugal and fought his way out of the slump. After all, he was on pole there.”

Lewis Hamilton Future

On another topic, Wolff was also asked about Lewis Hamilton’s contract talks for 2022, and he answered: "At the moment we are concentrating on the championship. We must not take our eyes off the ball.

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Where was Lewis Hamilton born?

"If at some point there is time we will talk about the future, but we haven't started that yet.”

Hamilton leads the way in the standings and is currently 37 points clear of his teammate Bottas, who sits in fourth. All in all, the Mercedes number two still has a lot to prove during the rest of the campaign.

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