Valtteri Bottas admits he has asked for a two-year contract from Mercedes boss Toto Wolff to remain on the German team for the 2022 season but adds that he has nothing against bringing Russell in his place. After five seasons spent at Mercedes, Bottas received a negative response during the second part of the 2021 season regarding a further extension of his contract with Silver Arrows.
The Finn was very helpful for the German team to win eight record-breaking design titles (while he competed in five), and played a significant role in winning the driving titles - which is quite normal. After months of speculation, in September 2021 it was announced that the Finn will leave the team at the end of the year, and will continue his career with Alfa Romeo, from which he received a multi-year contract.
Finch was replaced by the extremely talented George Russell, who is part of the Mercedes driver program, and he built his Formula One driving career on Williams - the team from which Bottas came to Mercedes. The winner of ten races has already decided to change the team if he can't get a longer contract than a one-year extension - something he got every season by coming to the Silver Arrows.
Valteri Bottas multi year contract
That's exactly what happened. Valtteri admits that he could not get a multi-year - two-year contract from Wolff. "It was honest like we agreed," Bottas told the Beyond The Grid podcast.
"It wasn't as he said. He knew that at some point we had to make decisions, and I had already decided that if I couldn't get two years or more with Mercedes, I would definitely start something new, "he explains.
“It was a simple question, can he offer me more than two years, two years or more? And he said, no, he can't at the moment, and then it was pretty easy, "he added. The former German team driver believes the rest of the process then happened very simply in terms of Mercedes ’decision to bring in Russell as his replacement, as the Briton has been part of the team’s young drivers program since 2017.
"Obviously it was very natural to introduce George to the car because he's been part of the team for a long time," he continued. "It is a new generation, and that is how sports are developing. Mercedes had this program for young drivers, and George has been in it for a long time, to miss the opportunity to continue to develop: becoming more experienced, and even faster, they did not want to miss the opportunity. "