Wolff: It Is ‘My Duty’ to Give Bottas a ‘Great Future’ if Mercedes F1 Let Him Go

Published 07/19/2021, 9:09 AM EDT
SUZUKA, JAPAN – Race winner Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP celebrates with Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff after the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)


Valtteri Bottas has always been a selfless driver for Mercedes in Formula One. The Finn swallows the hard pill of team orders, and always helps his teammate Lewis Hamilton to get by whenever necessary so that the team can have a better result.

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And while many may think that Mercedes don’t acknowledge Bottas’ efforts, especially with the George Russell rumors going around, that is not the case.

In fact, Team Principal Toto Wolff considers it his “duty” to help Valtteri find a seat when the time comes, whether it be at Mercedes on somewhere else on the grid.

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Wolff will go above and beyond to help Bottas have seat in F1

A team order came into the play this past weekend at the British Grand Prix, where Bottas was told not to fight Lewis and allow him to pass so that the latter could chase down Charles Leclerc for the lead of the race.

The gamble did pay off, as the seven-time world champion overtook Leclerc in the closing laps of the race and brought home a victory for the Silver Arrows.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP, Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP and Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff talk on stage at the F1 Live event during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

Speaking to Ilta Sanomat newspaper, as quoted by GrandPrix.News, Wolff said, “If there is a situation where we want to give someone else a chance, it’s not just about my relationship with him. I see it as my duty, because he deserves a great future.

“He has been a teammate of the best Formula 1 driver in history, and it is not always easy to shine in those circumstances. But he has been fantastic,” Wolff concluded.

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Who could replace the Finn at Mercedes?

There is the only name that comes to mind whenever Mercedes‘ second seat is talked about, and that is George Russell. The Brit, a part of the junior driver program, has linked with a move to the team ever since his impressive one-off drive at Sakhir last year.

Furthermore, Williams’ driver is running out of a contract at the end of the season and is rumored to replace the Bottas for next year.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – Second place qualifier George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes GP looks on in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Wolff said, “We will use the coming races to get more clarity. I thought Valtteri’s last race (Austrian GP) was very strong, he needs to consolidate that. We also know George’s strengths and weaknesses. I expect that we will make a decision during the summer.

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“We will negotiate only with Valtteri and George. It’s between them.”

Who do you think will get the seat next year? Will Valtteri continue with the seven-time constructors’ winner? Or will Wolff & Co. look to the future and bring Russell on board for the 2022 championship?

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DIVE DEEPER

Valtteri, it’s James! WATCH: Mercedes Strategist Vowles Credit Bottas for Hamilton’s Win

11 days ago

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Arpit Gomes

648 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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