Former world champion Nico Rosberg believes Mercedes shouldn’t go for a potential Bottas-Russell swap next season.
With George Russell in the wings and Valtteri Bottas underperforming this season, the rumours of Russell taking Bottas’ seat is more heated up than ever. It has started since the Sakhir GP last year, when Russell outperformed Bottas in the same car.
Multiple reports have already stated that Toto Wolff has already assured Russell of his Mercedes seat next season. They are also considering delaying the announcement to give Bottas more time of securing a seat for next season.
Rosberg is of the opinion that while Russell is a great talent, Mercedes shouldn’t replace Bottas with him.
Speaking to Sky News, Rosberg said, “That’s the big question at the moment.
“I think from a British perspective, you can be really excited about the future because you have two extremely talented up-and-coming drivers. You’ve got Lando Norris and George Russell. Russell of course being a Mercedes driver.
“Certainly, Toto Wolff… he’s going to be thinking about it very, very carefully. It’s difficult to know which way he’s going to go. It’s not something I think he should do,” the German opined.
For the thrills
Rosberg seems to be in the minority, with many Mercedes fans eagerly waiting for the team to do something for the future. Russell was also pushing for a win at the Sakhir GP before a calamitous pit stop issue ruined his race.
Rosberg, however, admitted that Russell to Mercedes is a good move only for entertainment value, as he thinks the youngster would push Lewis Hamilton harder than his current teammate.
“From a fan perspective it would be interesting to have a change and to have someone new in that second car alongside Lewis,” Rosberg said.
“Someone who is really going to give Lewis a run for his money in the same team. A young guy who can replace Lewis as No. 1 driver in the future at Mercedes.
“From that point of view, the fan’s perspective, we would be quite happy to see a change there and see something new,” he concluded.
Both drivers face uncertain futures amidst the winds of change surrounding Mercedes. Time will tell whether Russell or Bottas will come out of it first.