Toto Wolff has claimed his delay in announcing Mercedes' 2022 F1 driver line-up is not a reaction to Esteban Ocon's lost 2019 drive.
After a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll acquired Force India in 2018, the Canadian announced his son Lance would replace Ocon for the following season.
Ocon was widely expected to then sign for Renault, only for the manufacturer to pull out of the deal at the last minute and instead poach Daniel Ricciardo from Red Bull.
Asked if this disappointment had "burnt" Wolff and led to the cautious approach of an announcement, he answered: "No, it has nothing to do with the learnings from the Esteban situation because we deal with people that I trust and respect.
"It’s purely a question of having everybody aligned and contracts signed.”
Wolff has again clarified his ambition to have the futures of both George Russell and Valtteri Bottas secured before making any form of an announcement as to who will partner Lewis Hamilton next year.
“It’s not only our call but there are other parties involved and you have to always proceed with respect and with diligence," explained Wolff.
“The question that I was asked is whether I have made up my mind. I do, but I am not the only one who is involved in this decision.
"There are stakeholders that are involved that we need to respect and as long as contracts are not signed, it makes no sense to announce [anything]."