Paul di Resta who raced for Williams and Force India in Formula 1 doesn't believe George Russell will replace Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes for the 2022 season.
Having comprehensively outperformed his more experienced teammate at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, many expect Russell to make the step up into Mercedes next year. Scottish driver Di Resta feels Mercedes may be inclined to stick with their current lineup especially if they prevail over Red Bull in the 2021 team standings.
"I think if Bottas can have a day like he had today, I know he finished third, but he was able to pressure Verstappen and he was able to pressure Lewis (Hamilton), he was able to qualify pole, team dynamics is working is going forward," Di Resta said to Sky Sports F1.
"Yes, George is ambitious. Yes, he's probably the future of Mercedes Benz. But that's where the decision becomes incredibly hard for Toto (Wolff).
"I'm sure Lewis doesn't want the foundations of that team to change because it's won world championships, it's won constructors championships, for a very good reason. And when you see the performance of Mr. Hamilton on a day like today, if you've got anything that's gonna doubt that do you take that away?
"I think Lewis if he's wise, will probably give Valtteri a lot of support, and show the team that he is a team player, absolutely a team player."
With Mercedes currently locked in a monumental tussle with Red Bull for supremacy in 2021, the future of Bottas may well come down to whether or not the German can secure a record-breaking eighth consecutive constructors world championship.