Mercedes are prepared to let Valtteri Bottas fight for his place in the team beyond 2018 before considering bringing in other drivers such as Daniel Ricciardo. Both Bottas and Ricciardo are in the last year of their contract with Mercedes and Red Bull respectively.
Ricciardo, aged 28, has been linked in the past with the Mercedes seat and partner up with Lewis Hamilton, the current Formula 1 world champion and a driver he admires very much. However, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff clarified the situation of the Silver Arrows drivers.
“I think one of the most important values in business and privately is that you have to stay loyal and be loyal. Our two drivers, Valtteri and Lewis, we trust them, we empower them and give them all the support. " he told Sky Sports.
“If we were at the start of the season and already entertaining negotiations with other drivers we wouldn’t be giving him the right support. We are absolutely behind him (Bottas), as we are with Lewis. We will re-evaluate in the summer.” he added.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing