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Bottas has 'plan B' should he lose Mercedes drive

  • Published on 10 Aug 2019 12:16
  • comments 11
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Valtteri Bottas says he has a 'plan B' should he fail to retain his seat at Mercedes in 2020.

Bottas is up against Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon for the drive alongside Lewis Hamilton next year, with Ocon currently sitting on the sidelines after spending two and a half years in F1.

Bottas joined Mercedes in 2017 following the retirement of Nico Rosberg and has picked up five wins for the team, as well as 25 further podium finishes. 

But while he waits to be informed about his future, Bottas says is has other options available to him, should he be forced to look elsewhere. 

"Of course when you're in that kind of situation and when you still want to race in F1, you need to have plan B, possibly plan C," he said

"So for sure I've been thinking about stuff and talking about stuff. It's good to have different plans. So now we wait."

Bottas admitted that he doesn't think he performs well under pressure, but denies that his DNF in Germany and scrappy opening lap in Hungary had anything to do with feeling pressure. 

"It's not easy, that's the thing in this sport, finding the limit, calculating the risks just enough, pushing hard and trying to take the opportunities but not to fuck up," he said. "That's how it goes.

"But for sure, contract-wise you're on the limit - it never, ever helps. People think that some drivers perform better under pressure when things are on the limit, but for sure for me it doesn't help.

"But I can't say that going into Turn 1 [in Hungary] I was thinking about it. I don't think so.  I was very hungry for the win, no matter about contract talks or not, I wanted to win that race and wanted to take a risk.

"It just didn't go quite as planned. It could have been a lot different, just thinking about centimetres here and there."

Replies (11)

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  • Kean

    Posts: 598

    He hasn't fared terribly against Hamilton in quali. So he's pretty fast over one lap given that Hamilton is one of the fastest in the history of the sport. If he's dropped I think Renault would like to scoop him up and drop Hülkenberg who will likely go to Haas and replace Grosjean (though I think that Hülk should replace Giovinazzi in Alfa instead, and let Wehrlein replace Grosjean). That being said I think that RBR should pick up Bottas, drop Gasly and led Kvyat and Albon race another year at STR, but I guess that is unlikely.

    • + 0
    • Aug 10 2019 - 14:22
    • Bottas would at the very least be a solid stop-gap measure for RBH to buy time for Kvyat and Albon, but yes, unlikely.

      • + 1
      • Aug 10 2019 - 20:55
  • its pretty damaging to confirm you don't perform well under pressure in this sport - I moving my opinion now to he will leave, though for the life of me I don't see how Ocon is any better - fascinating,

    • + 1
    • Aug 10 2019 - 18:39
    • JCF1

      Posts: 24

      I don't think Merc wants Ocon to be better. He just needs to be good enough. Just like Bottas. Verstappen/Bottas could be a good pair for RBR.

      • + 1
      • Aug 10 2019 - 19:52
    • Kind of thinking the same. I would be playing my cards close to my chest not letting Mercedes know of my other options.

      • + 0
      • Aug 11 2019 - 04:32
  • Aswin

    Posts: 10

    For sure Ocon will crash into Lewis atleast twice next year

    • + 0
    • Aug 10 2019 - 20:45
    • Yep, i'm figuring at least twice !

      • + 0
      • Aug 11 2019 - 02:19
  • xoya

    Posts: 452

    Bottas wasn't a top team material from day one.
    Only reason Mercedes signed a contract with him was for him to play second fiddle to Hamilton. Now his seat is in danger for doing just that.
    If a 2nd driver is too close to a 1st driver in standings, he isn't really a 2nd driver material, is he?
    My thinking is that true reason for even considering Ocon is to try and make a team leader for when Hamilton retires.

    • + 0
    • Aug 11 2019 - 02:37
  • Biggs7

    Posts: 38

    I think its good to give Ocon a chance as a young driver, groom him to be a formidable contender for a future champion competing with the likes of Max & Leclec. Its a fair choice it seems.

    • + 0
    • Aug 11 2019 - 13:19
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,160

      In my opinion Ocon isn't a fast improvement on Bottas. If he was than he would already be driving next to Hamilton and since he isn't he's not. The issue isn't who's driving next to Hamilton but rather who's driving for Mercedes from 2021 onwards. Rumours of Vettel switching and Hamilton in Ferrari could be true but I can't see Verstappen move if Honda stays with RBR. Either Ferrari on RBR will be the car in 2021 since the nature of F1, teams stay on top for a while and than another team will hold that position. Top drivers would already know where they are driving in 2-3 years time.

      Bottas/Ocon don't know yet since they are dependent on those top drivers

      • + 0
      • Aug 12 2019 - 12:03
    • Bottas on his best day can barely keep up with Hamilton. Ocon is definitely not on the same level as Bottas. I'm a bit shocked he's being considered as though he was soem sort of prodigy. He proved himself a solid midfield driver at Force India, but he was no star. It was Pérez who won on Sundays and who got on the podium again.

      I just wish they would be Ricciardo or Alonso in the other Merc or even Hulkenberg if they wanted something that appears more like a number 2. Bottas and Ocon are very boring choices

      • + 0
      • Aug 18 2019 - 17:17
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