Ahead of the start of the race weekend in Barcelona, for the fourth Grand Prix of the season, Valtteri Bottas responded to rumors of George Russell being replaced by Mercedes at the height of the season. The Finn believes that such an upheaval is not in the habits of the German team.
Valtteri Bottas ousted by Mercedes in high season? This is the noise – fed by the British press – that has been running in the paddock since the end of the Portuguese Grand Prix. A rumor that the 31-year-old Finn swept aside, on the eve of the start of free practice for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
“I know that I will not be replaced in the middle of the season, he replied, in comments relayed by Motorsport. As a team, we don’t do that. I have a contract for this year, and I think there is only one team that does that kind of thing in F1 and it’s not us. So no pressure for me, because I know how it goes. There is always bullshit lying around, but it’s part of the sport.
“If I try to do my job as best I can, I hope that it will be really visible and that the rumors will stop quickly enough”, also released Valtteri Bottas, fourth in the drivers’ world championship, behind Lando Norris (McLaren).
Valtteri Bottas’ contract, extended last August, expires at the end of the year. While it is clear that he has the status of driver number two, in the shadow of Lewis Hamilton, his performance continues to disappoint. At the start of the season, he did not finish the Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna, and he finished two three thirds, each time behind Max Verstappen.
Its dynamic contrasts with the performances of George Russell. The young 23-year-old British driver never ceases to convince at the wheel of his modest Williams, although he belongs to the Mercedes industry. It is this link that allowed him to replace Lewis Hamilton during the Sakhir GP in December 2020.