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Anyone who follows the high-speed world of Formula One will know the seats at Mercedes are the most coveted in the sport. The Silver Arrows have been leading the way in recent years, and now there has been speculation that one of their drivers could be moved on.
However, the man in question, Valtteri Bottas, is adamant he’s going nowhere, and now it looks set to be an intriguing season for the experienced racer.
Rumors of Unrest at Mercedes
Reports in the English press had suggested Bottas could be replaced mid-way through the 2021 Formula One season. Bottas, who is 51.00 in the F1 betting to win the Drivers’ Championship this year, has been forced to play second fiddle to team-mate Lewis Hamilton for some time.
Hamilton is looking to secure what would be his record-breaking eighth world title this season, while Bottas is still seeking his maiden championship crown. The reports in the media suggested Mercedes were ‘losing faith’ in their Finnish racer, who has been with the team since 2017. Rumours of unrest grew after a disappointing Portuguese Grand Prix for Bottas at the start of May, with speculation suggesting Williams’ driver George Russell could replace him.
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Bottas has since come out and slammed the rumours, stating that Mercedes are not a team who swap drivers through the middle of a campaign. The 31-year-old did not let the opportunity to take a swipe at a rival slip him by after he claimed that there is one team that would change a driver mid-season. Rivals Red Bull have been known to do this, and the comment from Bottas will not have slipped the rival F1 team by either.
Hamilton Offers Bottas Backing
Bottas and team-mate Hamilton have had a pretty amicable relationship as far as Formula One partnerships go. Hamilton has defended Bottas’ position with the Silver Arrows, and has described the Mercedes line-up as “the best”.
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Having a seven-time world champion as a teammate is an unenviable position for any driver in Formula One, and the early signs for the 2021 season suggest Bottas won’t be able to keep up the pace with his team-mate. Englishman Hamilton on the other hand has suggested it’s still too early in the season to be writing off Bottas just yet and has called for people to give his teammate “a break”.
What Does the Future Hold?
Bottas himself has admitted he will need to improve his form to get people to stop discussing his future at Mercedes. Another Constructors’ Championship for the Silver Arrows would certainly strengthen Bottas’ case for a new deal beyond the 2021 campaign.
At some stage, the successful Bottas-Hamilton partnership will come to an end, but at least for now, F1 viewers will be able to enjoy the pair striving to keep Mercedes ahead of the chasing pack.