Wolff hints at 2019 change

24 December 2017 23:33:38 GMTPlus10

Boss Toto Wolff has hinted that Mercedes could change their driver line-up ahead of the 2019 Formula 1 campaign.

The Silver Arrows will again go into next year with reigning four-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas leading the team's push for a fifth straight constructors championship crown.

The duo are contracted to Mercedes until the end of 2018 and, while Hamilton is believed to be on the verge of agreeing a bumper new three-year deal, uncertainty still surrounds Bottas.

There are young drivers that will have gained more experience and some of the very good ones like [Red Bull's] Daniel [Ricciardo] become free.

Toto Wolff

The 28-year-old Finn finished third in the drivers championship in 2017 with Hamilton 58 points ahead of him and Sebastian Vettel securing second spot for Ferrari.

And, while Wolff appears happy to have Bottas for next season, he admitted other options will be explored for 2019 and beyond.

"In so far as I would like the pairing to continue, we are committed to both of them in 2018, but having said that 2019 is a very exciting new year," he told the BBC.

"There are young drivers that will have gained more experience and some of the very good ones like [Red Bull's] Daniel [Ricciardo] become free."

Hamilton is 2.20 to win a fifth world title next year with Bottas priced at 101.00 and Vettel is available at 1.61.

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