Wolff: Multiple drivers a “good problem to have”

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Toto Wolff has said that having multiple drivers in their set-up, and working out how to give them seats next season, is a “good problem to have”.

Mercedes have five drivers in their system, with three of those currently occupying a race seat in Formula 1. Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are with the works team, while Esteban Ocon is with Force India.

After that, they have George Russell and Pascal Wehrlein. The latter raced for Sauber last year, and is now in DTM, whilst Russell is their reserve driver for 2018, and has indicted that Mercedes could help into the sport next year, if he performs well in Formula 2 this season.

Wolff told Autosport: “We are not looking at drivers outside Mercedes at the moment because we have to give support to our guys, that is the priority.”

The Austrian then compared it to his family life: “It is like if you are happy with your wife, you don’t look elsewhere!”

The current line-up looks set for next year, despite neither Hamilton or Bottas having contracts for 2019. Both drivers are in the top three in the Drivers’ standings, and Bottas would have been top had it not been for his unfortunate retirement in Baku.

Wolff said: “We are very satisfied how Valtteri [Bottas] has been going these days, and Lewis [Hamilton] we don’t need to talk about – he is the best of the current drivers in my opinion.”

Despite the ‘problem’ of having five possible drivers looking for a 2019 race seat, Wolff is looking forward to it.

He said: “Then you have these kids growing up, like Ocon and George. I am optimistic about the future Mercedes line-up.”