The ongoing F1 season could possibly mark the end of Mercedes’ alliance with Valtteri Bottas, as George Russell is eagerly waiting in line to replace the Finn. Of course, it hasn’t been an easy phase for Bottas.
Every season, the Mercedes driver starts off well, showing signs of contending for the title. However, as the season progresses, his priorities change from winning for the title to backing his teammate, Lewis Hamilton to win the title. Hence, will his potential farewell year at Mercedes be any different?
Well, unfortunately, the answer is no.
Despite likely ending his 5-year relationship with the Brackley outfit, Bottas might not receive his much-desired send-off. Why you might ask?
Well, the battle for the title this season has intensified, with Mercedes facing a massive threat from Max Verstappen. Hence, in a bid to help Hamilton defeat the Dutchman, Toto Wolff has apparently demanded Bottas to play the Briton’s wingman.
What did Toto Wolff say?
“It is very important because statistically, his odds to win the championship are very small compared to Lewis who is very much in the fight,” he said.
Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas celebrates second place with the trophy on the podium Pool via REUTERS/Christian Bruna
“We have discussed that. And as tough as it is for a driver, there is no room for margin in this year’s championship,” the Austrian added.
Bottas is currently battling hard for P3 on the driver’s standings alongside Sergio Perez and Lando Norris. While the former has used Red Bull’s pace quite impressively, the latter has pulled off consistent performances over each race weekend.
Valtteri Bottas, a great teammate at Mercedes: Wolff
The Mercedes boss hailed Bottas’s presence at the Brackley outfit, who has played a crucial role in creating balance within the team.
“Knowing my relationship with Valtteri makes him a great teammate. I’ve always said that,” Wolff said. “And to be honest, I feel like that we currently have the pairing that delivers best when it comes to balance in the team and the knowledge of how we can develop our car.
Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 McLaren team principal Toto Wolff before the race Pool via REUTERS/Christian Bruna
“At some point, that will change. I won’t be here forever, and neither will Valtteri. But for now, I think we have done well over the years and can do that we will continue to do so.”
Overall, a breakthrough could soon head towards Bottas, who is linked to a seat at Alfa Romeo. After being the second driver for over 5 years, can Bottas finally receive the opportunity to lead an F1 racing team next season? Only time will tell.
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