Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff has put an end to rumours about Valtteri Bottas’ future and has assured the Finnish driver will remain with the German F1 team until the end of the season leaving British driver George Russell in doubt to stand in as team mate to Lewis Hamilton.
Valtteri Bottas is adamant he would stay at Mercedes until the end of the season, despite a source close to the German team told the Daily Mail that the Finnish driver is likely to leave.
Bottas, who has been with Mercedes since 2017, could be replaced by George Russell, the source said. When asked about his future, the driver did not seem particularly perturbed:
“I know that I will not be replaced in the middle of the season. As a team we don’t do that. I have a contract for this year, and I think there is only one team that does this kind of thing in F1 and it is not us.
“So there’s no pressure from me because I know how it goes. There’s always some bullshit going on, but that’s part of the sport. If I try to do my job as well as I can, I hope it will be really visible and the rumours will stop quite quickly.”
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff was asked about the future of Valtteri Bottas and was keen to dismiss rumours that his driver would leave.
“Yes, absolutely, unless he gets the flu and can’t drive, he will be in this car. I don’t see any reason to change because those guys there (Red Bull) like to play, how do you say with the chairs? Musical chairs.
“So no, there are no changes planned. If you’re not happy with your wife and you start looking for others, it’s not going to improve the relationship. I try to work on the relationship with my driver and get the best result for him before I start flirting with someone else,” he said on Friday
Meanwhile former F1 driver Jenson Button says that Mercedes really needs to move on from Bottas, as the Finn simply isn’t competing anymore.
“Lewis’ strengths for me when I was his team-mate was always the qualifying and not the race. So he’s obviously turned it around and gained a lot of experience.
“But at some point, Mercedes have to move on and put someone else in the car and see if they can challenge Lewis.”
The big question is, will Toto Wolff actually do that and put George Russell in the team with Hamilton? Perhaps Mercedes really ought to do a Red Bull and switch drivers straight away.