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Mercedes aiming to give Bottas 'soft landing' if he loses drive

  • Published on 20 Aug 2019 12:58
  • comments 6
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Mercedes admits that the post-Mercedes destination of either Valtteri Bottas or Esteban Ocon has bearing when it comes to making a decision on its 2020 line-up.

The Silver Arrows has already confirmed that Lewis Hamilton's teammate for the 2020 season will be one of the aforementioned drivers.

MOREBottas: Rally tests are not just for fun | Mercedes insists it's 'too early' to promote Russell

Ocon is spending the 2019 season on the sidelines, however it is believed that there is some interest in him from other teams.

With a decision yet to be made, Mercedes is not wishing to make life more difficult for the driver who misses out on the Mercedes drive next year. 

"It absolutely plays a role," said Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff. "We have responsibility for the drivers, for the juniors and those who are in the car with us now. We are not going to do anything that's going to make it harder for them.

"So whatever we decide we'll consider what are the options for the drivers to go elsewhere. If it's for Esteban to progress, to one day make it back into a Mercedes or for Valtteri to have a soft landing."

One race won't decide Bottas' future

After a strong start to the 2019 season, Valtteri Bottas has struggled to keep up with teammate Hamilton in recent races.

Last time out in Hungary, Bottas lost out on the opening lap and sustained front wing damage, while he crashed out in Germany while chasing Lance Stroll for second place.

However, Mercedes says that it will not let a single race influence its decision regarding Bottas' future at the team. 

"We will not be letting one race result influence our decision," Wolff affirmed.

"It's more about compounding all the data and looking at it, making a decision on stability, a great personality and a very good driver versus giving youth a chance and opportunity in the car, and all the risks and rewards it can bring.

Replies (6)

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  • This sounds like Toto warming up before the announcement...

    • + 0
    • Aug 20 2019 - 14:54
    • It does sound like he is telescoping a conclusion here but Bottas has 9 more races to excel. Bottas probably has the toughest job of all the F1 drivers this year. Ham don't lie down and roll over for anyone.

      • + 0
      • Aug 21 2019 - 00:31
    • I really wish Mercedes would give the seat to anyone other than Bottas or Ocon. Yes, it makes sense that either of these two gets the seat. But those are likely the two most boring choices. Also for the record... I still don't think Ocon is championship material. I rank Perez ahead of him.

      • + 0
      • Aug 21 2019 - 07:43
  • Agree Calle - Im 50/50 on the winner here - can't call it?

    • + 0
    • Aug 20 2019 - 23:17
  • siggy74

    Posts: 97

    If bottas finishes second then really, what more can you do = 1-2 for Merc.

    Nothing more that can be done on points wise than 1st for constructors and 1-2 in the drivers...

    But one could suspect that williams may well jump to get him back with george as a merc 2 team ;p

    • + 0
    • Aug 21 2019 - 19:36
  • Kean

    Posts: 606

    I thought that all this talk about "soft landing" and "plan B, plan C" from Bottas was a sure sign that they were gonna sign Ocon. However, latest gossip as of today is that Ocon is set to sign a 2 year deal with Renault, severing his ties with Mercedes. If true, that Merc junior program is not getting the best PR; one driver dropped, another let go to another team... Russell better start getting a plan B together. If Ocon goes to Renault, it doesn't automatically mean that Bottas is safe though (however it is highly likely), a long shot but perhaps Verstappen will go to Mercedes.....

    • + 0
    • Aug 21 2019 - 20:32

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