Johnny Herbert, three time Formula 1 race winner has revealed that Lewis Hamilton would prefer Mercedes to retain Valtteri Bottas in the upcoming season. There were speculations about replacing Bottas with George Russell of Williams.
The Silver Arrows are expected to make at least one change in the line up this winter as both Hamilton and Bottas will be out of contract by the end of the year.
Currently, Hamilton has his sights set on winning an unprecedented eighth Drivers’ Championship title this season which will cement his place as F1’s all time great.
However, it is still not known whether he will extend his career into 2022 with Russell waiting in line to grab a seat at Mercedes the moment one becomes available.
On the other hand, Bottas also has an uncertain future at Mercedes considering he is under constant pressure to perform especially with his teammate gaining title after title. Nevertheless, the 31-year-old has played a significant role in allowing Mercedes to win titles by picking up important points on a regular basis.
Herbert, who has made 161 Grand Prix starts throughout his 11 year career at F1, believes that the dynamic between Hamilton and Bottas is extremely crucial for Mercedes. He also suggests that this partnership should continue on to next season if Hamilton decides against retirement.
“What he [Bottas] gets is really terrible, because he is beaten from all sides, with people saying he is not doing well,” Herbert said.
“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 is further away, he manages to deliver what Mercedes needs as a team, which are the points for the Constructors’ Championship and in that he is brilliant. Brilliant!
“Does he cause problems in the team? No. Is he what Toto [Wolff] wants? Absolutely. Is he what Lewis wants? Yes.”
Herbert also believes that Bottas is the ideal partner for Hamilton considering his caliber and is urging Mercedes to avoid replacing him for the time being.
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