Wolff had said in an FIA media interview that it was possible for the world champion team to delay the final decision on whether or not to retain Valtteri Bottas.
Asked when a second driver would decide whether Lewis Hamilton would stay on for good, Wolff said the team was in no rush.
After giving a cheeky first answer about waiting until “somewhere in winter”, he was then prompted to clarify if the team would really wait that long.
He replied: “It is entirely possible because we have always been committed and loyal to the drivers. And that’s what we do.
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12
Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images
But speaking after qualifying for the French Grand Prix, Wolff revealed he was actually joking when he made the comments.
He suggested he said it as a way to hope that he would no longer be asked repeated questions about when the driver called.
“Yes, it was a liquidation,” he said. “Because you get asked that question so, so often.”
But while Wolff might not wait until winter, he has indicated that he still wants to take a little more time to decide what to do because he has to make the right decision.
Asked what the delay was, knowing full well what Bottas and George Russell are capable of, Wolff said: “[They are] two drivers who can still have a great career in Formula 1.
“And I just want to see the full potential of Valtteri this year. And keep watching George driving for Williams and dealing with this situation. “
Wolff praised Bottas’s return to form in France after a particularly difficult Azerbaijani Grand Prix, as he said the Finn has everything in hand to keep his seat for 2022.
“I’m very happy. I think he’s in a good headspace,” Wolff said. “We had a good discussion last week and he knows it’s all in his hands.
“And that’s good news because he’s in control of his destiny and it’s just about driving this car fast.”