Valtteri Bottas, in his last year of contract with the Brackley Team, returns to the subject of renewal and does so at the most favourable moment of his career: “I think I have shown that I deserve a place at Mercedes”.
Bottas 2.0 seems to have given himself a different perspective for his season but also in the language of the body: proud look, high head and uncultivated beard being the obvious evidence to a casual observer.
Bottas isn’t stupid, and knows to beat Hamilton in a dominant manufacturer team geared toward it’s number one driver, it is simply not enough to have the best car of the grid, but also a determined mental attitude and a good dose of coldness. If anything, to give himself the best chance should he be forced to move on.
Even at Silverstone, snatching pole by a mere few thousandths of a second away from Hamilton; it’s clear he wanted to send a clear signal of presence and competitiveness to both Mercedes and his teammate but also to those – like Ocon – who are waiting anxiously for that seat in the back of the team garage.
For Silverstone, Mercedes claimed that it placed Valtteri Bottas on the medium compound on lap 16 instead of the hard tyre as it believed that a two-stop was the fastest way to the end of the race.
Bottas pitted from the lead, but lost out when a safety car was deployed before teammate Lewis Hamilton came in for fresh hard tyres. This meant that Hamilton didn’t lose as much time and remerged in the lead and held it to the end on a one-stop strategy, while Bottas pitted again in the last handful of laps for soft tyres.
Convenient for Lewis at his home Grand Prix.
It’s fair to say Bottas is a good number 2 driver, never losses his head and almost never takes unnecessary risks. Ideal situation for Mercedes, but perhaps the time has come to be serious and Bottas knows this after an interview in the Italian media this week.
“I think I’ve shown the team that I deserve to stay at Mercedes, but we’ll have to wait a few more races.
“Nothing has been signed yet but I am trying to make progress so that everything goes well. Of course, if it hadn’t been for Lewis Hamilton maybe I would have won more races but to be honest I wouldn’t change anything, because the situation helps me progress and get more”.
Then to finish off his statement, a message for Ferrari perhaps…
“If I have to leave the Mercedes, I would like to be in the team that is in second place. At the moment that team is Ferrari.”