Valtteri Bottas has recently come under the spotlight after there were rumours of him possibly being replaced by George Russell before the end of this season.
The news has been met with skepticism with Bottas himself saying that Mercedes is not that type of a team to replace drivers mid-season.
With Lewis Hamilton showing signs of wanting to continue beyond 2021, could this mark the beginning of the end for Bottas?
Bottas’ 32 points from the first three races represent one of the worst starts of a season he has even had. So much that two of the leading ex-drivers turned pundits think that his time in Formula 1 is up.
“The problem isn’t qualifying as he is pretty good, but the races…Hamilton has been on another level,” Jenson Button said in an interview.
“Lewis’ strengths for me when I was his team-mate was always the qualifying and not the race so he’s obviously turned it around and gained a lot of experience.
“But at some point Mercedes have to move on and put someone else in the car and see if they can challenge Lewis.”
In the same interview, right next to Button was Martin Brundle, who agreed with the statements. However, he was a lot more sympathetic towards Bottas.
“I mean I’d have liked to have been rubbish enough to beat Lewis Hamilton in a Formula 1 car, to pole in Portimao last weekend,” Brundle said.
“I really feel sorry for Valtteri. I’m sure there were people who thought I wasn’t good enough for some drives at some point but I didn’t face anything like that in the media.
“He has had brutal questions, but such is the way that it is these days.
“It’s hard for Valtteri. I’m sure it knocks his confidence as you just can’t just be bulletproof on that sort of thing.
“He’s come up against Lewis Hamilton, who appears to be the greatest Formula 1 driver of all-time, potentially, theoretically, statistically, whichever way you look at it.
“That’s just bad luck for him. Wouldn’t he look a hero if Lewis wasn’t in the team?”
“Valtteri is a 1.5 driver, not a number two. He’s certainly not leading that team just because of the majestic speed and guile and racecraft that his teammate has got.”
Do you think Bottas’ days in Formula 1 with Mercedes are numbered? Let us know in the comments below!