Toto Wolff has revealed that Lewis Hamilton has been asked who he would like to be his team-mate within the Mercedes AMG Motorsport team in 2020, with the reigning World Champion agreeing with his team boss that both Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon are deserving of the seat.
Bottas is Hamilton’s current team-mate and has two race victories to his name in 2019 in Australia and Azerbaijan, with the Finn currently sitting second in the championship standings heading into the final nine races of the campaign. Should Bottas remain for 2020, it would be his fourth season with Mercedes, a period that has so far yielded five race wins, ten pole positions and eleven fastest laps.
Ocon is the current reserve driver at Mercedes after losing his seat at the Racing Point F1 Team for 2019 when Lawrence Stroll bought the team and placed his son Lance Stroll alongside Sergio Pérez. The Frenchman is highly rated within the team and there is interest from outside the team should Ocon not get the promotion next season, particularly from the Renault F1 Team.
Wolff acknowledges the decision on who will partner Hamilton is a difficult one, but it was important to get the opinion of the British racer who has been with Mercedes since 2013.
“We make this type of choice solely on the basis of the interest of the team, but Lewis has been with us for a long time,” said Wolff to Italian publication, La Gazzetta dello Sport. “So, yes, I submitted our narrow list to him, asking for his opinion.
“Well, he thinks exactly like us, both of them deserve to be his team-mate as far as he’s concerned.”
Wolff remains tight lipped to just when Mercedes will announce who will be Hamilton’s 2020 team-mate, although he acknowledges that the time for announcing the decision is imminent.
“We have already talked too much about this subject with the press, I do not want to set dates,” revealed Wolff. “Let’s say we will decide within a few weeks.”