Lewis Hamilton ‘wants’ Valtteri Bottas to extend Mercedes stay amid George Russell talk | F1 | Sport


Three-time Formula One race winner Johnny Herbert has prompt that Lewis Hamilton would really like Mercedes to retain Valtteri Bottas forward of subsequent season, reasonably than substitute the Finn with George Russell of Williams. The Silver Arrows might be set to make a minimum of one change to their driver line up this winter, with each Hamilton and Bottas out of contract on the finish of the 12 months.

The former is aiming to win an unprecedented eighth Drivers’ Championship title this season so as to cement his standing as F1’s all-time nice.

It stays to be seen whether or not he’ll determine to extend his profession on the grid into 2022 and past, with Russell seemingly ready within the wings to snap up a Mercedes seat within the occasion that one turns into obtainable.

Meanwhile, Bottas can be going through an unsure future and has been underneath stress to carry out as of late after failing to lay a glove on his team-mate’s title prices since becoming a member of the Silver Arrows in 2017.

Despite his lack of risk to Hamilton’s unrelenting dominance, the 31-year-old has performed an enormous position in permitting Mercedes to win titles by choosing up vital factors frequently and serving to his British counterpart to pip the likes of Max Verstappen to prime spot in earlier years.

Herbert, who made 161 Grand Prix begins all through his 11-year spell in F1, has claimed that the dynamic between Hamilton and Bottas is essential to the fortunes of Mercedes, suggesting that the Stevenage-born racer would really like their profitable working relationship to proceed into subsequent season if he decides towards retirement.

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“What he [Bottas] gets is really terrible, because he is beaten from all sides, with people saying he is not doing well,” Herbert informed Motorsport.com.

“But he has performed well. On some occasions, he has beaten Lewis. The point is that the consistency is not there in the races.

“But even when he’s additional away, he manages to ship what Mercedes wants as a group, that are the factors for the Constructors’ Championship and in that he’s good. Brilliant!

“Does he cause problems in the team? No. Is he what Toto [Wolff] wants? Absolutely. Is he what Lewis wants? Yes.”


Hamilton has sometimes proved to be one thing of a handful for his team-mates in earlier campaigns, with the 36-year-old sparking a well-known and bitter rivalry with previous good friend Nico Rosberg in 2013 that lasted till the latter’s retirement three years later.

However, the reigning champion seems to get pleasure from a pleasant alliance with Bottas, with minimal pressure on show between the pair even on the worst of occasions.

Herbert continued, hailing Bottas as the best associate for a driver of Hamilton’s calibre and urging Mercedes to keep away from changing him with Russell in the intervening time.

“You don’t want problems and fights, things like that,” added Herbert. “So maybe it would work for him to change in the middle of the season? I don’t know.

“But it will change loads. George may do this, as we noticed in Bahrain. But Valtteri has labored loads since that arrived at Mercedes and he received higher.

“It’s still not enough to beat Lewis at the moment, but we’re talking about Hamilton, you know? I think anyone in that car wouldn’t have an easy life, even Max or Charles [Leclerc] would have a hard time overcoming him.

“The factor is to beat him in each race, and we all know that Lewis at all times has a card up his sleeve, if he wants to discover a tenth or two within the standings, and he’ll at all times be a candidate for race victories. Even on a nasty day, he in all probability ends in second.

“So Valtteri does a good job and I think he’s perfect for the moment, and George did a good job in Bahrain.

“Now all of it is dependent upon their choice, whether or not Bottas is dismissed or whether or not Lewis retires.”




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