Yesterday, the Italian media in form of Sky Sports F1 has reported that Mercedes AMG driver and team mate to Lewis Hamilton will not have his contract renewed, confirming the reports this website received last week – Bottas will make way for George Russell.
The media giant based in Italy put out an instagram post yesterday saying that “Bottas-Mercedes, moving towards non-renewal of contract”
and that “Beyond the lacklustre race in Azerbaijan, the Finnish driver’s future seems sealed: Mercedes are not likely to renew his contract for next season.”
The Instagram post finishes with the simple text… “Russell ready”.
It has been surmised that Bottas has known for a while his fate, and that has been a contributing factor to the recent and surprising behaviour, including ignoring team orders. Clearly, he sees this as his last chance to show what he can do to another team, and gain as many podiums as possible.
Toto Wolff, Russell’s manager and Mercedes team boss, does not want to close contractual matters at the last minute either, as has already happened with Hamilton this season:
“We don’t want to wait until January to confirm the two drivers, also to give them peace of mind and allow them to concentrate on their work,” said the Brackley boss: “Obviously, a lot of things are still up in the air. We want the best for the team in the long term”
Wolff admits that he “also want to bring fairness to our current driver line-up,”, perhaps suggesting that with Bottas removed as team mate to Lewis Hamilton, he might at least have a chance to join another team.
TJ13 learnt last week that an announcement on driver contracts including Russell’s to partner Lewis Hamilton could be imminent, perhaps even next month. For more details, see below.
Russell to join Hamilton at Mercedes
Alas, the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Baku showed many just how out of his depth Valtteri Bottas is right now; the Mercedes teammate of Lewis Hamilton confessed to the media that he still has no idea why he could not pick up more pace resulting in a ‘nil poi’ result in Azerbaijan – With that, George Russell will join Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes F1.
It was a minor miracle that Bottas made it to Q3 in qualifying at all, not to mention that, despite Verstappen’s and Hamilton’s retirements, he didn’t move up any further than 12th place.
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