Mercedes to make decision on Bottas' future in August

Ocon a contender for Bottas' Mercedes seat

Ocon a contender for Bottas' Mercedes seat

"We want to end up... before the shutdown in a good place and [see Valtteri] put in two solid performances in Hockenheim and Budapest and then spend some time thinking about driver line-up for 2020 and beyond".

But fortunately for Bottas and team mate Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes brought a big update package to Hockenheim, where they are celebrating the anniversary of Mercedes-Benz's 125th year of involvement in motorsport, and this included a sharp focus on cooling with a revised bigger bodywork adorning the W10.

The Silver Arrows have won nine out of the ten races so far this season - Hamilton has won seven races and Bottas has won two - with the exception coming at the hands of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in Austria.

"It is pretty unusual to announce drivers in July".

Ocon is considered one of the most promising young drivers, but the 22-year-old Frenchman sat this season out in frustrating circumstances.

Mercedes will take a decision on Valtteri Bottas' future in August.

Ocon now runs simulator duties and works behind the scenes with the current champions, but Wolff believes that the Frenchman should be on the grid and was unfortunate to fall "between the chairs".

Ocon has remained with Mercedes this year as the team's reserve driver but has not raced elsewhere.

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And Wolff, who revealed there has been interest from other teams in Ocon, echoed Bottas' sentiment, insisting either driver would be worthy of a seat. Wolff is fully aware of the ramifications on failing to secure Ocon a seat for the 2020 season.

"We were seeing over 39°C in the second session which was pretty hard on the tyres and the auto, not to mention the drivers and the team in the garage".

Although he started the year with an impressive victory in Australia and an angry rebuke to his doubters - "to those it may concern, f-- you", he said over the in-car radio - he has appeared on the top step of the podium only once since, in Baku in April, and Wolff ominously suggested on Friday that Mercedes were leaving their options open. "Everyone knows about his driving capabilities", Wolff said.

"Valtteri's showing some very strong performances and merits the seat, but equally Esteban has shown [strong performances] in the past and is a great addition for the team".

"He contributes a lot a lot behind closed doors, he drives the sim overnight on race weekends, he comes in here Saturday and gives us input and he is a great kid overall".

"It makes it more tricky for the drivers and the cars and tyres, with lot of overheating especially in sector three with the corner combinations".

"If it would be that we (make) a decision in favor of Valtteri, it clearly also means that somebody else continue (s) to develop (Ocon)".

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