Valtteri Bottas MUST win French GP this weekend to have ANY chance of avoiding Mercedes axe at end of season
15th June 2021

VALTTERI BOTTAS must win the French Grand Prix this weekend to have any chance of staying with Mercedes next season – and even that might not be enough to stop him getting the axe.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is expected to start finalising his driver pairing for 2021 with SunSport understanding that the team see Lewis Hamilton and George Russell as the future.

Bottas has failed to score points in the past two races and currently sits down in sixth place in the drivers' championship and somewhat crucially, has yet to start talks over a new deal.

Wolff has made it clear that they will not drag negotiations out like they did to sign Hamilton for this season – and a quick decision is imminent, with F1 insiders believing that Bottas's deal will be set to expire on December 31st.

Bottas is hoping that whatever news he receives from Wolff, that he can stay in Formula One.

Ahead of the Azerbaijan GP, the 31-year-old said he still has the desire to race at the top level.

He said: "I'm quite open-minded like in life in general, you need to always take opportunities and you just never know what's around the corner.

"And that's, also having clear goals, what you're pushing for, it has taken me this far, and yes [I] always want to follow my heart and follow my passion.

"And I am still enjoying Formula One, of course, very much and racing at the front, and I really love it and I still enjoy it as much as I did, for example, in my first year with Mercedes, no doubt.


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"If I look at the big picture, for sure I still have a good few years in me. I feel like year on year I keep improving on certain areas and keep getting better.

"I'm quite far from the oldest drivers on the grid so, in theory, I still have time, but you just don't know what the future holds. I take it weekend by weekend and see what comes."

However,  his performances this season, plus a lack of suitable options, could mean Bottas's best chance of staying in F1 would be to return to Williams.

Ironically, he could be Russell's replacement with the Brit moving in the opposite direction.

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