The 2021 season of Formula One has begun in emphatic style with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull's Max Verstappen set to compete for the championship this season. Lewis' teammate Valtteri Bottas has had another disastrous start to his campaign with him reeling at fourth position with only 32 points after three races. Despite starting on pole this weekend in Portugal, the 31-year-old could manage only a 3rd place finish, a result which was not that great for the Silver Arrows.
Bottas' Mercedes future in doubt
It is now being reported that Mercedes have already started to think about replacing Bottas as early as before the end of the ongoing season. “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, ” a Mercedes engineer was quoted by the Daily Mail.
The Finnish driver is used to all these speculations because of the brilliance of Lewis Hamilton during their time together in Mercedes. Notably, Hamilton has won 44 races in this period and Bottas has managed to win only nine. While there is undoubtedly a large cap in terms of performances, it is no secret that the 31-year-old has been treated as the second driver with Hamilton their number one.
Close fight in 2021 might prompt the move
While Mercedes won the constructors' championship comfortably last year with a gap of 254 points over Red Bull, it won't be the case anymore in 2021 if early signs are to be believed. With Red Bull fighting hard with Verstappen and Perez, the Silver Arrows will need some crucial points on a regular basis by Bottas as well. Hence, if the Finnish driver fails to deliver over the course of next few months, there is no doubt that Mercedes will look to get George Russell on board during this season, who literally outperformed Bottas in the solitary drive he got last season. It will be extremely interesting to see how the events unfold during the course of 2021 season.