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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has admitted he is assessing his options for the 2020 season, as the Silver Arrows are expected to make a move for Williams star George Russell. Lewis Hamilton has signed only a one-year contract extension. And during the last season, Russell stepped in for Hamilton, when he contracted COVID ahead of the Sakhir Grand Prix.
There were rumours that Mercedes were considering offering Russell a drive should Hamilton not renew his contract this season.
But the seven-time world champion signed a deal. But the short-term of it raised even more questions.
Wolff hinted he could shake up his team at the end of the year after four years of a Hamilton-Valtteri Bottas partnership.
“It’s the third contract that we were discussing so it’s not that we needed to start from scratch,” Wolff said. “But it’s an important contract because of the season and long term how we are going to position ourselves from 2022 onwards, and how is his thinking. We respect that a sports person has a shelf life and that you need to optimise the outcome whilst being active.”
Hamilton could beat Michael Schumacher’s record by winning his eighth world title this year.
“I think this is very much Lewis’ decision,” added Wolff. “As long as he enjoys racing, I think he is very capable of going longer. He develops as a driver, he looks after himself in terms of physical training and mental preparation, so I don’t think that, in terms of ability, that ends in 2021. But in the end, it is his decision.”