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Sponsor links Valtteri Bottas to Ferrari move

  • Published on 28 Mar 2018 10:24
  • comments 19
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Valtteri Bottas' sponsor thinks the Finnish driver will continue to race with a top team beyond 2018. Bottas had a bad start to his season in Australia with a qualifying crash, with Lewis Hamilton saying he missed having his teammate's support in the race: "Since last year it has become crucial to have two cars at the front, especially with Red Bull and Ferrari so strong now," Hamilton said.

Bottas backed himself to bounce back in Bahrain next weekend, and it's a message echoed by his strongest sponsor, Antti Aarnio-Wihuri: "I think it's likely that Valtteri will continue with Mercedes, but in formula one anything can happen," Aarnio-Wihuri, whose packaging company Wihuri sponsors Mercedes, told Urheilulehti. But there are rumours Mercedes is eyeing Daniel Ricciardo or Esteban Ocon for 2019.

Aarnio-Wihuri, one of Finland's wealthiest men, speculated that a move to Ferrari cannot therefore be ruled out for Bottas."I think Raikkonen's time is coming to an end," he said. "Last year we saw that his driving started to become inconsistent. Probably his interest is starting to fade."

Ferrari has expressed interest in Bottas in the past, so Aarnio-Wihuri speculates: "Valtteri's move to Ferrari can still be quite possible. In the meantime, every F1 driver dreams of driving for Ferrari at some point." (GMM)

Replies (19)

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  • reg

    Posts: 162

    I think there are faster drivers the prancing horse will want on its back much more than Bottas

    • + 0
    • Mar 28 2018 - 10:33
  • If Ocon drive that well as in 2017 I put him with Lewis with one team. That would make such a pressure on Lewis as on Sergio Perez.
    However what I don't like with Ocon, he drives too hard sometimes. However all greats including Senna, Schumacher did the same.
    Sainz might go to Red Bull while Ricciardo's future is unclear but I doubt he stay at RB since Max is the star.

    • + 0
    • Mar 28 2018 - 11:11
  • Bottas already drives for Ferrari.

    • + 0
    • Mar 28 2018 - 11:36
  • No way, he's too slow and has poor racecraft. Ferrari want a decent driver like Ricciardo, Verstappen or Sainz.

    • + 0
    • Mar 28 2018 - 11:52
    • This is the biggest misconception. Neither Ferrari nor Mercedes need a fast driver for the second seat. I don't know why people believe that they are going to hire someone who can challenge their "stars".

      Why is Raikkonens contract being extended year after year? BECAUSE he is performing poorly.

      • + 0
      • Mar 28 2018 - 12:18
    • TottyWelder

      Posts: 4

      I don't think they want someone who will challenge Vettel. I think they'll want someone who will be a good support that is able to help in the development of the car without being a whining snowflake

      • + 0
      • Mar 28 2018 - 14:01
  • Ferrari always has preferred a clear hierarchy in their line-up (save the days of Berger-Alesi and Massa-Raikkonen), so they'll go for someone who isn't a threat for Vettel but could still bag points for the team: Bottas sounds logical, so does Sainz (if he doesn't get his Red Bull-promotion) and I'll throw in another outsider completely unexpected: Robert Kubica (who once signed an intention to replace Massa at Ferrari by 2013).

    • + 0
    • Mar 28 2018 - 12:08
    • Vettel's Ferrari era is same as Schumacher's. They need another Barichello who will step down ten metres before the chequred flag.

      • + 0
      • Mar 28 2018 - 14:10
    • JUJU, Rubens drove over 80 races with Michael and you know how many times he "stepped down"? TWICE. You talk like it did it 6x a season.

      • + 1
      • Mar 28 2018 - 14:29
    • True, but Barichello pretty much only had to step down those times, the remaining occasions he was clearly inferior to Schumi anyway. Now I like Schumi, and I like Vettel, but people have a point when they criticize the lead driver second driver system. Tis a bit bullshit.

      • + 0
      • Mar 28 2018 - 21:06
  • denis1304

    Posts: 284

    Valtteri Bottas is perfect No. 2 driver and would fit in Vettel's Ferrari just as well as he fits in Hamilton's Mercedes

    • + 0
    • Mar 28 2018 - 14:50
  • Bummer! Ricciardo to Mercedez, Bottas to Ferrari is double blow.

    • + 0
    • Mar 28 2018 - 17:25
  • I just dont see that happening, except for if Hammy grace Ocon with his blessing and Wolff get to promote him. Bottas can then grab Räikkönen's seat. I just dont see a good reason for why Bottas willingly would leave the best car on the grid for a slightly worse car with an equally dominant lead driver.

    • + 0
    • Mar 28 2018 - 17:50
    • The only scenario would be Ferrari wanting to get rid of mediocre Raikkonen for an new and improved Finnish driver. Also, Ferrari surely would offer Bottas a pay raise in that scenario. Finally, the allure of the red car... it's been known to draw drivers even to the detriment of their own careers

      • + 0
      • Mar 28 2018 - 17:56
    • Pretty much, but the pull of a Merc' shouldnt be underestimated. I dont doubt that Merc' will be the car to beat for years to come.

      • + 0
      • Mar 28 2018 - 18:10
    • dr002

      Posts: 141

      Come on guys, it won't be Bottas' choice!

      His placement was a stopgap measure to fill an urgent need, and his selection resulted by virtue of being the driver most readily available to Mercedes contract wise.

      It is ludicrous to suggest that if dumped by Mercedes, Bottas could simply 'choose' to "grab Raikkonen's seat". Why would Ferrari want another Nordic driver with no mojo?

      As his former manager, I actually think that a decision to replace Bottas would be problematic for Wolff, as I reckon he would perceive himself to have an obligation to find Bottas another seat, particularly as Bottas was only offered a one year contract to come across to Mercedes.

      Beyond slipping him back in at Williams, I honestly can't see where else Bottas would end up..... Though a Williams drive would make sense from a point of view of protecting their IP.

      • + 0
      • Mar 29 2018 - 02:15
    • Because Vettel want a second rate driver, and not someone that can legit challenge him? You are right, it wont be Bottas' choice whether its the choice of leaving Merc' or the choice of joining Ferrari, but it wouldnt surprise me if Toto are considering putting Ocon in that Merc', so if Kimi leaves, its possible that Vettel might grant him amnesty in his domain.

      • + 0
      • Mar 29 2018 - 06:25
    • @DR002 Ferrari loves a meek #2 driver. Raikkonen has been mediocre since his first year at Ferrari. It's been what? 4-5 years now and they keep renewing his contract. Bottas ticks both boxes in that (1) He's is as non-confrontational as it gets. He would not rock the boat and (2) He's pretty fast and consistent, more than Raikkonen, but not enough to be challenging Sebastian.

      • + 0
      • Mar 29 2018 - 18:54
  • boudy

    Posts: 1,168

    It is about time that there is an unexpected driver in one of the main seats. Raikkoning against Vettel ... boring, Hamilton against Bottas ... boring, now the following combinations would be good:

    Vettel and Hamillton
    Verstappen and Ocon
    Ricciardo and Sainz/Perez

    • + 0
    • Mar 29 2018 - 16:04

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  • Team Mercedes
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