Mercedes is once again faced with the usual question this year: Whether they will use the services of Valtteri Bottas for another season? The Finn has so far signed one-year contracts since replacing retired Nico Rosberg at the start of the 2017 season.
The difference this season is that the end of Bottas ’current contract coincides with the end of a three-year contract between Russell and Williams, who is a Mercedes junior. As seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton has shown signs of being ready to extend his contract with Mercedes again, it looks like it will be a direct fight between Bottas and Russell, who have already clashed this season, right on the track.
It happened in Imola when they collided The British tabloid Daily Mail claims that Mercedes may have already decided and could encourage Russell’s move to the senior team before the season even ends, citing an unnamed Mercedes engineer.
"There are dilemmas around Valtteri in the factory." "He is still not equal to Russell, which we could see in Bahrain" All of this comes after Bottas failed to turn a pole position at the Portuguese GP into his first win of the race this season, although a sensor problem prevented him from chasing Max Verstappen for P2 again, behind race winner Hamilton.
Bottas or Russell
Over the weekend of the Portuguese GP, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was questioned by reporters about the decision to choose Bottas or Russell for 2022 if Hamilton confirms his intention to stay. "I hope to wake up one day and the answer will be clear."
“I think we need to look at the season and how the next races will go and I believe that is crucial for the decision. It's not exactly a scientific answer, but I don't have one at the moment. " Valtteri Bottas is currently in fourth place in the standings for the title and has 37 points less than teammate Lewis Hamilton who is at the top of the table.
Among them are Max Verstappen in second and Lando Norris in third. It seems that the Mercedes team still does not know what decision they will make or they still want to deceive the audience and not talk about their plans for the future.
It will certainly be a difficult choice between Bottas and Russell given their quality, but their form will be a decisive factor in the decision. It looks like Bottas and Russell will be in a serious race this season