While the most successful Formula One driver of all time is still standing without a contract for the coming season, Mercedes made nails with heads at Valtteri Bottas early on. The Finnish will also sit 2021 in the silver arrow. The question is: Why is it?
In formula 1 there are currently some outstanding drivers. Valtteri Bottas is clearly not one of them. Although the Finnish has been in the best car for four years, he is not in principle involved in the fight for the World Cup. Nine victories in 79 races, plus 16 poles: not enough for a Mercedes pilot, not enough for a driver who wants to become world champion. For comparison: Hamilton won 42 Grands Prix in the same period (78 Starts) and was on the Pole 37 times.
Mercedes could have easily replaced the Finns in view of the season 2021, Finally, the silver arrows with George Russell already have the next Formula One star in their own stable. But those responsible decided against the young Brit and for another Bottas year.
Russell is not only supposed to be the more talented driver, but also from an economic point of view the man with a significantly better perspective. A Hamilton/Russell pair would have guaranteed massive headlines and thus revenue (and action on the track). So why does Mercedes continue to hold on to Bottas?
Mercedes and the fear of the war of the stars 2.0″
On the one hand, the silver arrows have learned from the mistakes of the past. There will never be a second “Star Wars” again. Between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, in the four years together, the fragments flew so far that the negative mood affected the entire team and endangered the common goals.” The negativity has dragged down the whole room,”team leader Toto Wolff once remembered the common time. With Bottas, that much is clear after four years, this risk does not exist.
The Finnish is considered as a sociable type, but at the same time, although he is not part of the Creme de la Creme of the Royal Class, he is an absolutely reliable driver. The three tenths he regularly misses on Lewis Hamilton would probably miss many other drivers as well. On very good days, he can even beat an average Hamilton. He is hopelessly inferior to a Hamilton in top form.
Bottas simply does not have the class to permanently endanger the number 44, ultimately plays into the cards for the team and even for the Finn himself. The 31-year-old has proven to be a “perfect” teammate: too weak to shake the hierarchy, but good enough to score the points needed for team evaluation. Would a George Russell have met that requirement? Possible, but not certain.
“Fighting Lewis costs strength”
Bottas himself still believes in his chance in the duel with Lewis Hamilton.” Sometimes I am close, sometimes I beat him,”the Finnish remarked aptly during the last season.”But being beaten four years in a row in the World Cup is hard to accept,”the former Williams driver did not cry out from his disappointment.
How much longer he wants to go to his reserves, Bottas doesn’t know, “It’s no secret that the fight with Lewis takes a lot of strength, If every time I have to pull a hundred percent out of me.”
2021 he gets the chance to do it again –for the last time at all. George Russell is already scratching his hooves and has a hand on the Mercedes steering wheel. He’ll replace Bottas sooner or later and jump into the fight with Lewis Hamilton if number 44 has finally extended their contract by then…