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Toto Wolff wants Valtteri Bottas decision by mid-September

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff hopes Valtteri Bottas' future will be resolved by the Asian leg of the 2017 Formula One season in mid-September.

Bottas signed a last-minute one-year deal with Mercedes to replace Nico Rosberg, following the reigning world champion's shock retirement in December. The Finn has made an impressive start at the German manufacturer, scoring two wins to sit third in the championship and just 33 points behind championship leader Sebastian Vettel at the half-way stage of the campaign.

Valtteri Bottas.
Despite Bottas' strong start, Mercedes has previously been non-committal about whether he will remain as Lewis Hamilton's teammate in 2018. Speaking over the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, Wolff says he expects progress to be made during F1's summer break and ideally wants a decision to be made before the flyaway races in Asia -- beginning with the Singapore Grand Prix in mid-September.

"As I would like to go back to a race next weekend to clarify and put things in order," Wolff said. "It's a good time to talk and to think things through. We had some good discussions with Valtteri before Hungary. I'd certainly like to go to Asia for the final races with a decision."

Bottas, who claimed his maiden grand prix win in just his fourth race with Mercedes, insists he is not worried by continued talk about his future and says there is no need to rush a decision.

"There could be some progress to be made on that during the break because obviously the last month has been pretty hectic," Bottas said. "It's been difficult to have proper meetings and discussions with so many races. For sure there is some time but there is no rush, we don't need to get anything done before Spa."

Wolff is also anticipating an update on the future of Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein in the coming weeks. The German-Mauritian, who has scored all of Sauber's five points in 2017, previously admitted 2018 was completely open.

The departure of former team principal Monisha Kaltenborn, along with the confirmation of Sauber's extended Ferrari engine deal, has ramped up speculation surrounding Wehrlein's place at the team, with Ferrari keen to explore the idea of promoting its young drivers into F1 through its tie-up with the Swiss outfit.

When questioned about Wehrlein's future, Wolff said: "For Pascal, there's lots of movements on the chessboard at the moment. "I guess in the next two weeks there could be some interesting things happening."

Author: Lewis Larkam
Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/20264383/toto-wolff-wants-valtteri-bottas-decision-mid-september

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