Mercedes F1 driver Valtteri Bottas says teammate Lewis Hamilton has told him that the sport’s dynamic duo shouldn’t be split up by Mercedes for the 2022 Formula 1 season and beyond.
Speculation is that Williams F1 driver George Russell is set to replace Bottas at Mercedes next year, even though Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says he has yet to make a final decision.
“We have to choose between the stability of Valtteri and the talent of George,” Wolff told the German media outlit Bild am Sonntag newspaper. “I want the matter of where the future lies to be dealt with in September so that both of them can position themselves properly for the coming season.”
According to Bottas, he has the support of seven-time world champion Hamilton, who is already under contract with Mercedes for 2022 and 2023. Bottas came to Mercedes from Williams after the 2016 season. He’s finished in the top five in the standings each season with Mercedes and runner-up in both 2019 and 2020.
“Yes, Lewis has told me directly that he would like me to be his teammate,” Bottas told Finland media outlet MTV Sport. “Together we can do very well, but it’s a fact that the drivers don’t have a huge impact on these decisions. There’s a bigger machine behind it that ultimately makes those decisions.”
Bottas says he is used to the annual uncertainty about his next contract.
“Every year is the same story,” he told Iltalehti newspaper—the evening newspaper in Helsinki. “You just have to learn to live with it. In this business, your skin thickens all by itself. At the moment it’s not clear what is going to happen and I don’t think there’s any news ahead for at least the next couple of weeks. Let’s see.”
Bottas, who is fourth in F1 in the points standings (behind just Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Lando Norris), could either keep his seat at Mercedes or end up at Alfa Romeo, Williams or even Aston Martin. It’s that side open.
“I can’t say who we’re going to talk to and what’s going on, but things are being discussed so that we can find the best option for next season,” Bottas said.
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