Valtteri Bottas may not make it through to the end of the 2021 Formula 1 season, at least not as a Mercedes driver according to reports out of Britain.
The Finn started the Portuguese Grand Prix on pole ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton, but in the end the Brit got the better of him to take victory. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished second, with Bottas forced to settle for third.
The Daily Mail reports Mercedes are losing confidence in the Finn after losing out to Hamilton yet again, which could open the door to an exit as soon as this season.
“There is some unrest at the factory about Valtteri,” an anonymous source within Mercedes is quoted as saying. “He is not up to it, which was made clearer by the job we saw George Russell do in Bahrain.”
The newspaper claims that Russell, who is expected to join the team in 2022, would see his switch moved up to this season despite some criticism from Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff over the Brit’s role in his accident with Bottas at Imola.
In four years at Mercedes, Bottas has finished third, fifth and second on two occasions in the drivers’ championship. Over that time Hamilton has managed 44 race wins compared to the Finn’s nine.