No drivers are currently contracted to Mercedes for 2022 but seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is expected to continue with the German marquee for at least one more season, with Mercedes hopeful a deal can be struck before the summer. 

On the other hand, Valtteri Bottas’ future is more uncertain, with Mercedes weighing up whether to retain the Finn or not for a sixth season following a disappointing start to the year. 

George Russell is the frontrunner for the second seat alongside Hamilton in the event Bottas is dropped, with recent media reports suggesting that a promotion for the Williams driver could be announced as early as next month’s British Grand Prix. 

But speaking ahead of this weekend’s French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard, Wolff made it clear that the team may hold off confirming Hamilton’s teammate until “somewhere in the winter”. 

“I don't know if it’s December, January or February,” he added. “It is highly possible because we have always been committed and loyal to the drivers. And this is what we're doing.”

On Thursday, Bottas categorically dismissed reports that he has already been informed he is on his way out of the team, branding the rumours as "clickbait". 

Bottas has come under increasing scrutiny amid a difficult start to the 2021 season that has seen the Finn slip to sixth in the drivers’ championship. 

Asked what Bottas has to do in order to hold onto his seat for another year, Wolff replied: “Drive the car fast on a Saturday and Sunday. 

“If he does that, then he puts himself in a very good situation in terms of next year.”

And Wolff insists the final decision will hinge on ultimate performance. 

“The main driver is consistent performance,” he said. “Especially in this difficult year, we need two drivers that are racing right there.

“If one is having an off weekend or DNFs, you need the other one to bring it home. And that's why it's always important that both are just on the max of their ability.”

Mercedes lost ground to Red Bull in the constructors’ championship after both drivers failed to score in Baku, while Sergio Perez claimed his first win of the season to extend Red Bull’s current advantage to 26 points.