Formula One media punchbag, Valtteri Bottas, is rumored to have re-signed with Mercedes on a 1-year contract extension. We just made that rumor up because we’re looking for clicks because that is how the media has always operated. We just got to get more clicks. Back to the made-up point of this article. Here’s why we think Bottas will be signed for one final year by Mercedes. He is a solid performer, has the speed to out-qualify Lewis Hamilton, and is a proven race winner and collector of podium finishes. However, he lacks consistency compared to his 7x world champion teammate, specifically his race pace. With this in mind, Bottas has been shoe-horned into becoming Lewis Hamilton’s wingman. Touted replacement George Russell is the young and thirsty next generation buck. And that brings a lot of self-confidence and young man’s bravado. Does Hamilton want a young lion trying to mark out his territory at this stage of his career? Is he willing to entertain the possible chaos this could bring to the team? potentially cost him race wins and another championship? We don’t know for sure but Hamilton has never backed away from the competition.
On his day Bottas is a high-quality driver, although at the Hungarian Grand Prix he made a low-quality mistake. However, there has been no official confirmation from Mercedes that they will retain Bottas for the 2022 season. Out of the 11 races run so far this season, Bottas has secured 6 podiums and 3 DNFs. His highest position was 2nd at the Austrian Grand Prix.
He really struggled at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but his performances since then have become increasingly stronger. Just don’t mention the Hungarian Grand Prix. And he is up against Lewis Hamilton, who is another step ahead and always has been. How do you compete against the eye of a permanent race-winning storm? That being said Bottas has put up a good fight, but the stats say otherwise. He currently lies 4th in the driver standings, 5 points behind Lando Norris. Realistically he should be comfortably third.
Those DNFs have hurt Bottas for sure. Although Toto Wolf has said he will not take into account the Hungarian Grand Prix which was an accident Bottas should have avoided. Now Bottas is doing the media rounds, perhaps in an attempt to remind Mercedes of his value to the team or possibly market his services to another. Speaking to ESPN Bottas said…
“It’s already my fifth year with the team and it feels like everything works well as a team, and with Lewis we can work together. For sure, it would be something completely different.”
“I’m confident to say I am a good asset for the team and it definitely would be different if I wasn’t here. I’m confident with my driving skills, but I don’t make the decisions.”
“There is nothing holding me back at the moment. Definitely, I would say I feel like in my career I am peaking. I still haven’t reached that yet, there are always things I am learning and getting better at.”
“I’ve definitely learned so much about myself in the recent years. As a driver and as a human being and being able to understand yourself and what works for you is important.”
“I will try everything I can for myself and for the team for the future, whatever happens.”