Daimler chief Ola Kallenius revealed that Mercedes is likely to stick with its current driver lineup for 2021. The revelation all but confirms the German team’s future in terms of its driver contracts for next year. Additionally, it also signals the end of yet another option for Sebastian Vettel for next year.
With the driver pairing it currently has, Mercedes has no real reason to change anything. Yesterday’s race only reinforces the theory that the team has one of the best lineups on the grid. With two drivers that can win races but also maintain stability within the team, sticking with Hamilton and Bottas is a no-brainer.
However, both drivers are yet to announce their respective futures in Formula 1. As things stand, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will be out of contract at the end of 2020. With Kallenius’s latest announcement, don’t be surprised if Mercedes announces a renewal for both drivers.
Before Bottas recently disclosed that Mercedes wasn’t considering Sebastian Vettel, there were many rumors linking the German to the Finn’s seat next season. While Kallenius didn’t completely shut the door on Vettel, there’s a very slim chance of Mercedes signing Sebastian.
The Swede revealed that Vettel would come into the picture only “if one of our drivers says that he is tired of it” said Kallenius as quoted by Sky.
With Mercedes leaning towards its current options, Vettel’s only option is a sabbatical or retirement.
“We’ll stay with our two boys” revealed Kallenius.
Bottas clinched the first race win of the season in an opening-round that was anything but easy. Despite reliability fears and issues with the car, the Finn kept a cool head to see the checkered flag.
His teammate, on the other hand, tangled with Alex Albon, resulting in a 5-second penalty. The British driver dropped down from second to fourth after the race.
With Red Bull having a miserable race and Ferrari miles off the pace, Mercedes could be staring at yet another dominant season. Yet to lose a title in the turbo-hybrid era, the Brackley outfit is well on its way to clinching a seventh successive World Championship in F1.