Just a few days after Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton laid down a marker on getting a new contract signed, his teammate, Valtteri Bottas, has taken Lewis’s cue and placed his own marker. Perhaps not a big surprise that he’d also like a new contract deal done by summer break.
“Honestly, it’s always better earlier,” Bottas said. “I’ve had contracts [signed] early, I’ve had contracts too late that it almost becomes a distraction.
“But to be honest, I haven’t really thought about it yet. And that’s an honest answer.
“I’m really just focusing on these races now and that moment when we start to talk it will come eventually.
“For sure about my future, yes, I think August break is normally a good deadline. But to be honest I don’t want to think about it yet.
“I just want to win races, that’s the only thing on my mind at the moment.”
Perhaps it’s a bit formulaic but drivers, including Lewis, normally say things like they haven’t thought about it much and they’re just focused on the job at hand but then they go on to mention how distracting it is which sort betrays that first notion.
If it were me running things, and clearly it is not, I wouldn’t re-sign either of them. I’d make a play for Max Verstappen and call up George Russell…but that’s just me. Nothing against Lewis or Valtteri, they are both amazing drivers, but with the new regulations coming in 2022 and a future to plan for, I’d start finding long-term drivers to take the team into the new era.
In the end, Mercedes wants to win titles and who bette to do that than Lewis? For Valtteri, things aren’t quite a cut and dry. He’s been with the team five years and many could claim he’s been a good number two to Lewis. That would be a fair assessment. But if you were to keep Lewis, getting George in the other car so he can learn from the 7-time champ makes the most sense. At least to me but then again, I’m not running things over there at Mercedes.