Bottas Takes Veiled Dig at Red Bull While Rejecting Russell Swap Rumours

Published 05/06/2021, 10:01 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 6, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix REUTERS/Albert Gea

The rivalry between the two world-class racing teams, Red Bull and Mercedes has been steadily heating up since the start of this season. Amid such an intense ongoing duel, Valtteri Bottas decided to trigger it further by taking a dig at the Milton Keynes outfit during the press conference in Spain.


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It is a known fact that Bottas will be sticking around Mercedes at least until the end of this season, considering his recent contract extension.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 18, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen talks with team principal Christian Horner after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon

However, in the past week, an interesting rumor blew up, which stated that the defending champions could replace Bottas with the in-form Williams driver, George Russell. What’s more, the switch could come even before the curtain falls over the ongoing F1 season.


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Hence, during the Spanish GP press conference, the interviewer asked Bottas whether the speculations of Russell replacing him are true. And this consequently led to an unexpected response from the Mercedes driver.

Valtteri Bottas’ dig at Red Bull

As reported by RaceFans, the Finn opined that Mercedes aren’t the kind of team that pushes a driver out even before his contract comes to an end. Furthermore, he also reckoned that only one team on the grid does such acts.

I know that I’m not going to be replaced in the middle of the season,” the Mercedes driver said. “As a team, we don’t do that. 

I have a contract for this year and I believe there’s only one team that does that kind of things in F1. And we’re not that. So [there’s] no pressure from my side. I know how things are and there’s always bullshit around. That’s part of the sport.

Red Bull have had a roller coaster couple of seasons, with a question mark hanging over their number 2 driver. While Max Verstappen was flying with the Honda-powered car, his teammates experienced nothing but struggles.

The never-ending number 2 driver curse

First, it was Pierre Gasly, who only held on to the seat at Red Bull for less than one season. And then arrived Alex Albon, who, again spent considerably less time with the team, yet longer than his predecessor.


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Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 14, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Now the seat has landed onto the one-time Grand Prix winner, Sergio Perez. So far, the Mexican seems to be doing well despite the initial blues in Bahrain GP qualifying earlier this season.

But coming back to Bottas’ comments, it is highly likely that Red Bull aren’t letting go of this easily; one can definitely look forward to a response from either the boss or even the drivers. So, will this lead to a verbal spat between the two rival teams? Only time will tell.


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Added Pressure of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell Affecting Valtteri Bottas, Claims Former Teammate

about 2 months ago


Rohit Kumar

747 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.