Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton (R) and Valtteri Bottas (L) are in the final year of their contracts with Mercedes. In this picture, Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP, Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff and Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP pose for a photo with the Mercedes W09 during the launch of the Mercedes Formula One team's 2018 car, the W09, at Silverstone Circuit on Feb. 22, 2018, in Northampton, England. Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team CEO and team principal Toto Wolff set a deadline to decide on Lewis Hamilton’s teammate for the 2019 season, although he did give his backing to Valtteri Bottas, who was impressive in the first four races of the 2018 season.

Both the Mercedes drivers are out of contract at the end of the current campaign and are yet to agree new deals. The team are clear they want Hamilton to commit his future to the team and he is expected to sign a bumper new deal sooner rather than later.

Bottas, on the other hand, will need to prove he can challenge for race wins and podium places on a consistent basis before being handed a new deal. The Finn has been impressive this campaign, coming close to victory on two occasions in China and Azerbaijan.

Daniel Ricciardo emerged as an option for the Silver Arrows team with the Australian looking at options for the 2019 season, but, Wolff indicated that the team are not looking at drivers from other teams at the moment. He is happy with the options they have and the prospects — Esteban Ocon currently with Force India and George Russell in Formula 2 — in the young drivers’ program the team runs.

Wolff revealed that a decision on the 2019 lineup will be made in the summer after the triple header in July when teams face back-to-back races in France, Austria and Great Britain.

“We are not looking at drivers outside of Mercedes at the moment because, first of all, we need to give our support to our two guys, that’s the priority,” Wolff told f1i.com.

“It’s like if you’re happy with your wife, you don’t look elsewhere! We are [happy] with our two wives — or three [including Ocon] — and we are not looking at that," he added.

“Give us a few more races, [let us] start the European season properly, go to Canada, and then the intense July, and I will have a better view,” Wolff said.

The Mercedes chief seems to be happy with Bottas at the moment with the Finn also earning praise from his teammate after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix where he was almost certain to win before suffering a tire puncture with two laps to go. Wolff also labelled Hamilton the best on the grid and is keen to continue working with the Briton.

He praised Ocon and Russell, who are cutting their teeth with other teams at the moment, but gave them hope of possibly securing a drive with the reigning champions in the future. Wolff believes having a number of good options is a “good problem” to have, going into the future.

“It is a good problem to have. We are very satisfied how Valtteri has been going these days, and [with] Lewis we don't need to talk about — he is the best of the current drivers in my opinion,” Wolff said, as quoted by Autosport. "Then you have these kids growing up, like Ocon and George. I am optimistic about the future Mercedes line-up."