Bottas says Hamilton wants him to stay

Mon, 23 August 2021, 10:00

Aug.23 (GMM) Valtteri Bottas says his teammate Lewis Hamilton has told him “directly” that the duo shouldn’t be split up by Mercedes for 2022 and beyond.

Amid strong rumours that George Russell is set to oust the Finnish driver, team boss Toto Wolff says his final decision is now looming large.

“We have to choose between the stability of Valtteri and the talent of George,” he told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

“I want the matter of where the future lies to be dealt with in September so that both of them can position themselves properly for the coming season.”

According to Bottas, he has the support of seven time world champion Hamilton, who is already signed up for 2022 and 2023.

“Yes, Lewis has told me directly that he would like me to be his teammate,” Bottas told Finland’s MTV Sport after racing in his own duathlon at the weekend.

“Together we can do very well, but it’s a fact that the drivers don’t have a huge impact on these decisions. There’s a bigger machine behind it that ultimately makes those decisions.”

However, Bottas says he is used to the annual uncertainty about his next contract.

“Every year is the same story,” he told Iltalehti newspaper. “You just have to learn to live with it.

“In this business, your skin thickens all by itself,” Bottas smiled.

“At the moment it’s not clear what is going to happen and I don’t think there’s any news ahead for at least the next couple of weeks. Let’s see.”

According to Ilta Sanomat, he continued: “There’s nothing new – or at least nothing I can report.

“The situation is becoming clearer and clearer, but I cannot talk about it. Everything is fine, and I’m quite happy with the direction in which it is developing.

“But there’s no point discussing rumours right now.”

The leading ‘rumours’ are that Bottas might either keep his seat or end up at Alfa Romeo, Williams or even Aston Martin.

“I can’t say who we’re going to talk to and what’s going on, but things are being discussed so that we can find the best option for next season,” he said.

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