Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas is aware that his Formula One seat is not set in stone. In fact, the Finn has hinted that he has a “plan B” in case Mercedes elects not keep him for 2020.
Bottas is anxiously awaiting a decision on his future as team boss Toto Wolff mulls the options between keeping the Finn, or promoting Esteban Ocon to a racing seat. Unfortunately, his Hungary performance threw a spanner in the works where he finished eighth.
“In Formula 1, you’re only as good as your last race,” former F1 driver JJ Lehto admitted to Iltalehti newspaper. The Finnish former driver was asked if Bottas’ Germany and Hungary performances will hurt his chances of being re-signed.
Valtteri Bottas will have a nervous summer break as Wolff’s decision will come during the August break. The good news is that his call will not be dependent on “a bad day” in the cockpit.
“We have to look at all the data and take into account a lot of factors that speak for or against him,” he said.
Wolff even acknowledges that signing up Ocon may not be the best idea either.
“A young guy like Esteban deserves a chance, but it will not be easy to manage the pressure of the comparison with Lewis. It’s a difficult decision,” he said.
However, the pressure is now on Bottas to prevent any mistakes while his future hangs in the balance.
“It’s not easy,” he admitted. “But that’s the sport. You’re always on the limit, deciding the degree of risk that is acceptable.
“If at the same time there is uncertainty with your contract, it doesn’t help. Some people think that drivers are better with pressure, but that’s not the case for me.”
Valtteri Bottas insisted that he is “not particularly worried” about Wolff’s August decision.
“But I would like to hear from the team about this,” he said. “When you’re in Formula 1, you should always have a plan B and plan C as well.”
Thought-provokingly, the Finn has not mentioned what the backup plans are.