There is no doubt that Mercedes has been one of the top-performing teams coming into the 2021 F1 season. However, Hamilton has been the only one contributing in a real sense, with Valtteri Bottas visibly struggling.
To make things worse, his collision with George Russell in Imola has not really played well in his favour.
Former teammate Felipe Massa seems to think that this incident could spark trouble for the Finn to retain his Mercedes seat.
Bottas has claimed several times that he wants to be more competitive with his teammate. But there was never a significant challenge from his end. Now, Max Verstappen is slowly taking his place.
”It’s a mental thing. It is not easy to fight with a champion like Hamilton. The same goes for Vettel. They are both in a difficult situation and then Bottas also has to live with Russell who keeps chasing him,” Massa said.
“George is very strong, even though he made a mistake in Imola. He deserves a chance and I hope Mercedes will give it sooner or later. I liked the fact that he apologised for his mistake. That is a sign of maturity, that he dares to admit such a mistake.”
One thing that is certain is the fact that it is too early to judge the Finn’s performance in 2021. But it is clear that he needs to pick up his pace in the upcoming races.
Bottas has proved in the past that he is capable of fighting for wins. He just needs to have a bit of confidence in himself.
George Russell is in direct competition with Bottas for a seat with Mercedes. This just makes it even more important for the Finn to perform well. Then there is also the possibility of the two ending up as teammates if Hamilton decides to call it quits.
Do you think Bottas and Russell can get along if they end up as teammates? Let us know in the comments below!