As Formula One 2021 season gets set for a three-week break post the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix on August 1, the focus is surely going to be on Mercedes as some developments are expected to take place in their camp regarding the driver line-up for next season The Silver Arrows have secured the F1 constructors' titles consecutively in last 7 years. Initially, it was the pairing of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Since 2017, Finland's Valtteri Bottas has partnered Lewis Hamilton and has done a fairly decent job for his team.
The former Williams driver has always played the role of second driver in Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton taking all the glory, attention and fame. However, Bottas' role in the team has been quite underrated as he has often helped his teammate on quite a few occasions. A glimpse of the same was visible during British GP 2021 when he let Hamilton pass through quite easily to attack Lecrerc for a win at Silverstone, which he successfully did later in the race. But the big question is - What about the future of Bottas?
Will Mercedes look to replace Bottas with Russell?
There have been many speculations around Valtteri Bottas' future in F1. Many experts believe that Mercedes are going to replace the Finn with England's George Russell who has had quite a few impressive outings during his time at Williams.
Team principal Toto Wolff recently shed light on the ongoing situation and said, "Valtteri has ticked all the boxes that we needed to understand, not only recently but also before. It is more of a strategic decision whether we stay with the current line-up or whether we go more bold next year. But we’re going to sit down with the drivers, with both of them – because George is a Mercedes driver – and then discuss and then come up with a decision.”
Bottas has been the teammate of the best Formula 1 driver: Wolff
Despite all the rumours around Bottas, the 49-year-old was also full of praise for the Finn driver. Wolff claimed that Bottas has been the teammate of best Formula 1 driver of all time. "That is not always very easy to shine, but he (Bottas) is fantastic," stated Wolff. He also added that if there comes a situation that Bottas has to leave, then it’s his responsibility that Bottas has a great future ahead because he deserves it.