The speculation continues after the abrupt announcement last month that the 4-time champion, Sebastian Vettel, would not be continuing with Scuderia Ferrari for 2021. This announcement had the speculation merchants flying, me included, and the most frequent guess was that he might find a home at Mercedes.
With Esteban Ocon, George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas on on their roster, you can image the contemplation that fans were trying to justify. You can also imagine the anxiety from Russell and Bottas over the seat and with Hamilton yet to extend his deal, the rumors have been ripe.
This week, Sky Sports F1 chatted with Bottas who added more drama to the speculation by saying he was told that Vettel wouldn’t be coming to Mercedes. When asked if all of this Vettel speculation was weighing heavy on his chances at the team for 2021, Bottas said:
“No, it doesn’t get to you,” Bottas told Sky Sports F1.
“We’ve been very honest also with my team all the time, what’s the situation, and how it’s going to be contract-wise.
“I got a pretty straight message that no, they are not considering Seb, so I said fine, no worries then.”
Bottas has inked a series of 1-year extensions to his Mercedes drive and he says this is normal for him:
“It’s the same as every year for me. It’s no different in any way than any other season for me,” Bottas said.
“There are always talks, and the situation has been the same for me.
“I find it quite funny with not even a single race done, there’s been people getting my seat. It made me laugh a couple of times.
“There’s no pressure from that side, because I still have my clear goal for the season in my mind, and that’s it.
“Things will then sort themselves, one way or another, whatever is going to happen. I have no stress about that at all.”
He’s right, it is the normal process but it is also because of his inability to ink a two or three-year deal that means he is expendable and a safety valve should another driver tickle their fancy. Such as Russel, Ocon or yes, even Vettel.
He may have been told that Vettel isn’t coming to Mercedes and I am inclined to believe that but you never know in F1. Things can change pretty quickly and they’ve seen a lot of Bottas to know where he’s going to run. Vettel might give something something more or he might bring something less. Difficult to say because it is all speculation.
Hat Tip: Sky Sports F1