Russell vs Bottas vs Ocon: What Options Do Mercedes F1 Have for 2022?

Published 06/12/2021, 6:30 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 8, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas during the press conference after qualifying in third position FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Mercedes might have to make a major decision for the 2022 season. Valtteri Bottas’ contract expires at the end of the season, and the likes of George Russell and Esteban Ocon might be hoping they will get a chance to be in the most dominating car on the grid.

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Now, why would the Silver Arrows go for Russell or Ocon? The reason behind it is that both are part of the Mercedes junior program, showing great potential at a young age. Hence, they might look at Ocon and Russell as options.

How are Ocon, Russell, and Bottas doing this season to convince Mercedes

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The current Mercedes driver who has been with the team since 2017, has managed to feature on three podiums so far this season.

However, the Finn has also endured three tough weekends. At the Emila GP, Bottas had to retire after suffering a horrible crash with Williams driver, George Russell.

Later at Monaco, the Finn had to retire due to a botched pitstop and hence didn’t score any points. The 31-year-old driver endured another horrid weekend in the ‘Land of Fire’ as he crossed the line in 12th place, coming in empty-handed once again.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes GP prepares to drive on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

Many fans want to see Russell driving for the Brackley-based squad next season, after seeing an amazing performance at Sakir last year. The Brit was called up as his fellow countrymen, Lewis Hamilton, contracted COVID-19.

The Williams driver has been extracting the most from the underwhelming car by making it into the second round qualifying every weekend.

However, the 23-year-old driver is yet to score the first F1 points of his career but has been showing great potential.

Another potential suitor for the seat is France’s Esteban Ocon, who did have two talented teammates in the form of Daniel Ricciardo and now two-time world champion Fernando Alonso.

So far, the 24-year-old has managed to get into the Top-10, only missing out on two occasions, one in Bahrain and the other at the recent Azerbaijan GP.

Watch Story: When F1 Drivers Had a Blast on Top Gear Featuring Hamilton, Vettel & Ricciardo

Who will feature alongside Lewis Hamilton next season?

Many believe that the 7-time world champion will continue his partnership with the Brackley-based outfit. But it’s his potential teammate that is the most talked-about in the F1 paddock.

Will Mercedes retain Bottas and continue his partnership with Hamilton? Or will the team look to new horizons and give the young drivers, such as Ocon and Russell a shot behind the wheels of the Mercedes.

SUZUKA, JAPAN – OCTOBER 11: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and Esteban Ocon of France and Mercedes GP talk in the Paddock after practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka Circuit on October 11, 2019 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Time is ticking for the 7-time constructors’ champion to make a choice that will decide their future. Will it be Valtteri, Ocon, or the most favored by the fans, George Russell?

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Arpit Gomes

675 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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