Toto Wolff says Mercedes will choose the identity of Lewis Hamilton’s teammate for 2022 “during the summer”, with only Valtteri Bottas and George Russell being considered for the second seat.

Mercedes announced on Saturday in Austria that it had agreed a two-year extension to Lewis Hamilton’s contract with the Brackley squad.

“With Lewis we were clear since a while that we wanted to continue so that was obvious for us,” said Wolff.

“Now we can look at the second seat. It’s between those two and we value them both for their strengths and for what they can contribute to the team.

    Read also: Mercedes and Hamilton agree two-year contract extension!

Hamilton’s signing could bode well for Bottas’ chances of retaining his seat as the Briton advocated for a status quo for 2022 in order to preserve the team’s stability.

Many believe that replacing Bottas with the ambitious and talented Russell could risk disrupting the harmonious working atmosphere that prevails at Mercedes.

“We always said we want to give it the next few races to gain more clarity,” Wolff added.

“I’m also happy Valtteri’s racing, in my opinion, in Austria was really good and he needs to consolidate that. But he’s a known factor and in the same way we know the strengths and weaknesses of George.

“That decision is going to be made during the summer and the first discussion is going to be with George and with Valtteri. And then hopefully we are sorted before the end of the season.”

Speaking on Saturday after qualifying about his new two-year deal with Mercedes, Hamilton said he was enticed to renew his allegiance to his team, not only by the prospects of success, but also by his involvement with the sport’s quest for improving its diversity.

“It’s exciting, naturally to be continuing,” he said.

“I think last year and what you’re seeing now, we’re entering into an interesting phase for me personally because it’s not just the racing it’s what’s coming up, the work that we are doing as a sport in terms of trying to make it more diverse and inclusive space.

“I’ve been a part of the start of that and I want to continue forwards with that.

“I love working with this team. I feel constantly challenged. I think we’re being challenged more than ever this year which is great. And I love racing.

“This is what I was born to do. I still feel fit, I still feel as committed as ever so I don’t see a reason to stop.”

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