Toto Wolff has insisted that Mercedes will not attempt to land Pierre Gasly before the start of next season, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell set to continue with the team for the foreseeable future. Gasly has been widely tipped to seek a move away from AlphaTauri over the last few weeks after Sergio Perez signed a new contract with Red Bull at the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Frenchman has made no secret of his desire to have another crack at Red Bull after his previous stint with the team was cut short after just six months back in 2019. The door now appears to be firmly shut, though, sparking rumours that Gasly could look to cut ties with the Red Bull family in order to pursue a new opportunity elsewhere on the grid.
Gasly has even been tentatively linked with a potential move to Mercedes amid the uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton’s long-term future with the Silver Arrows. The latter’s contract is set to run until the end of next season, at which point he could decide to retire from the sport, but Wolff has insisted that no changes will be made before then in spite of Gasly’s current situation.
“No door is open for us,” said Wolff, as reported by Motorsport.com, when quizzed on the possibility of Gasly agreeing to join Mercedes in the not-too-distant future. “We have one strength, it’s the two guys. And if I looked at the driver market and what’s happening there, it would just distract me.”
Mercedes could well have a seat available in 2024 if Hamilton fails to extend his stay with the Silver Arrows between now and the end of next year, at which point Gasly will also be free to leave AlphaTauri. Wolff went on to insist that it is still too early to discuss what could happen at that stage, though, but hinted that he would like to see Hamilton continue his working relationship with Mercedes for as long as possible.
“Are we starting talking 2024 contracts? In June 2022? No, we are in a happy place with Lewis,” added Wolff. “There is no doubt that we are embarking the season and the next one in a good place but it’s too early to discuss 2024. But having said that, I couldn’t wish for a better driver pairing.” Hamilton is yet to suggest that he could walk away from F1 at the end of his current deal with Mercedes, with the 37-year-old having previously insisted that he is still enjoying his racing as he chases a record-breaking eighth Drivers’ Championship title. However, he is no spring chicken and it remains to be seen whether he would be willing to sign a new long-term contract when the time comes to renew.