I have read a few articles over the last few days regarding the Mercedes team formula one drivers line up for next year. It is not straight forward and hence why nothing has been mentioned yet. I thought they would have announced Bottas for next season already as they are on the summer break right now. The longer it is kept quiet the worse it looks for the Finn I am afraid. As they say "nice guys never win" and this could be the case with him.
The Mercedes man who has the final say is Toto Wolff and he knows a few things about drivers. he is married to Williams test driver Susanne Wolff and he has had Schumacher,hamilton and Rosberg before Bottas plus he has had the ear of the late Niki Lauda. Lauda and Wolff would have discussed this for the last 6 months as it is setting the future out for Mercedes. Any boss is always looking for what is next and where they need to go as this is how to keep a successful operation ahead of everyone else.
“If we take a decision in favour of Valtteri,Bottas then that means we would lose our hand for two years or more on Esteban,” Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said a few weeks ago whilst doing an interview. He is worried that in two years time they are expecting Hamilton to retire as he is 34 right now. Where would that leave them then? Bottas is not going to set the world alight as he would have done it already in the car that is dominating all the others currently. he has won only 5 races against Hamilton's 28 since the start of the 2017 season.
The problem lies in what the other teams are doing and they have set their stalls out already and know they have young top drivers who are going to dominate in the years ahead. Verstappen at Red Bull and Le Clerc at Ferrari are undoubtedly great talent and are hungry and have the skills. The only decision that Toto can make is to bring in Esteban Ocon sooner rather than later. Ocon is a talent for the future and will learn the ropes under Hamilton and will benefit from this.
This makes more sense and I never knew the age of Bottas when I thought he would get the nod for another season. When Hamilton retires in two years which is what is presumed Bottas will be 32 and where does that leave the team then?I was looking at an online poll and 52 percent have gone with Bottas from around 400 votes but they are not the ones deciding this and Toto Wolff is. His thoughts expressed last week are telling in my opinion and his mind has been made up already. It's a tough one deciding someones future.