Mercedes ‘Unrest’ Could See Russell Replacing Bottas Midway Through 2021 F1 Season: Report

Published 05/04/2021, 9:47 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 2, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas before the race Pool via REUTERS/Gabriel Bouys


Even before this season began, there was a sword hanging over Valtteri Bottas’ head. Not because of his inability to challenge Lewis Hamilton, but because of George Russell’s emergence. So, the general F1 community has been of the view that he’ll be shown the exit door at Mercedes after this season ends. But now, an astonishing report claims that he could get the chop before this season ends.

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The Daily Mail claims to have had been in touch with an engineer at Mercedes.

He, who chooses to remain anonymous, said, “There is some unrest at the factory about Valtteri. He is not up to it, which was made clearer by the job we saw Russell do in Bahrain.”

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F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, April 18, 2021, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas & Williams’ George Russell in action during the race. REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

It is also important to point out that Bottas has been signing one-year deals ever since he came to Mercedes in 2017. So, there’s always an air of uncertainty regarding his F1 future with the German outfit. However, he’s never actually faced an external threat to his seat as he has been complimenting and never threatening Lewis Hamilton.

However, the internal threat that emerged last season was George Russell. The Williams loanee outperformed Bottas last year in Sakhir, proving his credentials as a future world champion.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – George Russell of 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)

Though, him being dislodged mid-way through the season is uncharacteristic of Mercedes. That can disturb their championship battle with Red Bull. But then again, with this being just a report by Daily Mail, it must be taken with a grain of salt.

Who would Lewis Hamilton side with as his Mercedes teammate?

To retain his alpha status within the team, Hamilton would logically prefer to share the garage with Bottas. It is likely that he would vouch for the Finn behind the scenes.

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“I’m sure Lewis doesn’t want the foundations of that team to change because it’s won world championships, it’s won constructors championships, for a very good reason. And when you see the performance of Mr Hamilton on a day like today, if you’ve got anything that’s gonna doubt that do you take that away?” Paul di Resta chimed in on Sky Sports F1, as quoted by GP Blog.

Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 2, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after winning the race alongside third place Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo

“I think Lewis if he’s wise, will probably give Valtteri a lot of support, and show the team that he is a team player, absolutely a team player.”

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Toto Wolff has a difficult decision to make. He may lose his sleep now, but the correct decision would help him sleep peacefully in the foreseeable future.

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Bharat Aggarwal

694 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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