According to the latest reports, Valtteri Bottas is allegedly considering Red Bull as an option beyond 2021. The Finn, like the majority of the grid, doesn’t have a contract after this season. With Mercedes stalling talks until the season begins, Bottas needs to keep his options open before it’s too late.
Is Bottas’ Mercedes future in danger?
As things stand, Mercedes hasn’t confirmed its driver lineup for 2021 and beyond. There have been several rumors regarding the team’s future but Wolff clarified that the German team wouldn’t talk contracts until the season begins. This could be a cause for concern as the driver market in F1 is a very volatile environment. Being at the right place at the right time is key to securing a good deal.
Wait too long and one could even end up losing a drive. Thus, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if Bottas is exploring other options. Recently, the rumor mill suggested Valtteri was in talks with Renault over a potential seat for next season. According to F1-insider, Bottas’ manager recently sat down with Christian Horner. According to reports, Bottas’ manager- Didier Coton invited Horner to dinner. Remember, these are only rumors at the end of the day.
Bottas joining Red Bull isn’t completely outrageous as he brings in a unique set of skills. He’s a race winner, and an experienced and level headed driver. Max Verstappen is the team’s number 1 driver but having the Finn onboard could help the Milton-Keynes outfit clinch the Constructors’ Championship.
Bottas may not be quicker than Max, but he could match the Dutchman’s pace. A stable pairing in Max and Valtteri could help Red Bull revive its Championship hopes.
However, judging previous reports, Bottas’ seat at Mercedes could be in trouble after all. Some reports hinted at Mercedes considering George Russell as a potential replacement for next season. With the regulations staying the same, this could be an excellent opportunity for Mercedes to finally use its junior program.
While it hasn’t been confirmed, there’s a high chance of the team retaining Lewis Hamilton’s service for 2021 and beyond. Letting go of its star driver and reigning Champion isn’t in the team’s best interests.
Aside from George Russell, there’s a certain 4 times World Champion in need of a strong seat in 2021. It’s unlikely, but will Mercedes opt for Sebastian Vettel alongside Hamilton?
Silly season is only beginning…