Welcome at RN365

You are logged in. Benefit directly from all the benefits of your account:

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits

Welcome at RN365

Become part of the largest racing community in the United Kingdom. Create your free account now!

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits
fri 26 mar - sun 28 mar
  • 1 HAM LAP 56
  • 2 VER + 0.745
  • 3 BOT + 37.383
ita
fri 16 apr - sun 18 apr
  • 1 VER LAP 63
  • 2 HAM + 22.000
  • 3 NOR + 23.702
bhr
por
fri 30 apr - sun 02 may
Quali sat 01 may
Race sun 02 may
ita
esp
fri 07 may - sun 09 may
Quali sat 08 may
Race sun 09 may
por
mco
thu 20 may - sun 23 may
Quali sat 22 may
Race sun 23 may
esp
aze
fri 04 jun - sun 06 jun
Quali sat 05 jun
Race sun 06 jun
mco
can
fri 11 jun - sun 13 jun
Quali sat 12 jun
Race sun 13 jun
aze
fra
fri 25 jun - sun 27 jun
Quali sat 26 jun
Race sun 27 jun
can
aut
fri 02 jul - sun 04 jul
Quali sat 03 jul
Race sun 04 jul
fra
gbr
fri 16 jul - sun 18 jul
Quali sat 17 jul
Race sun 18 jul
aut
hun
fri 30 jul - sun 01 aug
Quali sat 31 jul
Race sun 01 aug
gbr
bel
fri 27 aug - sun 29 aug
Quali sat 28 aug
Race sun 29 aug
hun
nld
fri 03 sep - sun 05 sep
Quali sat 04 sep
Race sun 05 sep
bel
ita
fri 10 sep - sun 12 sep
Quali sat 11 sep
Race sun 12 sep
nld
rus
fri 24 sep - sun 26 sep
Quali sat 25 sep
Race sun 26 sep
ita
sgp
fri 01 oct - sun 03 oct
Quali sat 02 oct
Race sun 03 oct
rus
jpn
fri 08 oct - sun 10 oct
Quali sat 09 oct
Race sun 10 oct
sgp
usa
fri 22 oct - sun 24 oct
Quali sat 23 oct
Race sun 24 oct
jpn
mex
fri 29 oct - sun 31 oct
Quali sat 30 oct
Race sun 31 oct
usa
bra
fri 05 nov - sun 07 nov
Quali sat 06 nov
Race sun 07 nov
mex
aus
fri 19 nov - sun 21 nov
Quali sat 20 nov
Race sun 21 nov
bra
sau
fri 03 dec - sun 05 dec
Quali sat 04 dec
Race sun 05 dec
aus
are
fri 10 dec - sun 12 dec
Quali sat 11 dec
Race sun 12 dec
sau
Start Portuguese GP
Days
Hour
Min.
Sec.
Valtteri Bottas

What does Bottas have to do to retain his Mercedes seat for 2022?

The new Formula 1 season is just days away and the pressure is already on Valtteri Bottas if he wants to keep his place at Mercedes next year. RacingNews365.com takes a look at what the Finnish driver is up against if he wants a new deal with the world champions.

Analysis
To news overview © Mercedes

One year contracts are nothing new for Valtteri Bottas but his 2021 campaign could be his last with Mercedes. He has it all to do after George Russell impressed at the Sakhir Grand Prix at the end of last season in his one-off race for the world champions.

Russell’s contract with Williams ends at the year and everything points to him joining Mercedes for 2022. It means Bottas has it all to do if he is so remain with the team. What does he have to do?

Put simply, he will have to beat Lewis Hamilton. Bottas has a habit of starting the season well before dropping off as Hamilton picks up form after the opening Grand Prix.

The 31-year-old must be in realistic championship contention going into the summer break to show team principal Toto Wolff and Mercedes that he has the performance and consistency over at least a dozen races.

After ten races, Bottas has never been ahead of teammate Hamilton during his time at Mercedes. In fact, his first season with the team in 2017 was the year he was closest to Hamilton after ten races – just 22 points behind the seven-time world champion.

This is compared to a 59 point deficit to Hamilton in 2018, 39 points in 2019 and 44 points in 2020.

Article continues below

			© Mercedes
	© Mercedes

Dates of Bottas' confirmation of a new contract at Mercedes

Year Date
2017 September 13 (After round 13)
2018 July 20 (After round 10)
2019 August 29 (After round 12)
2020 August 6 (After round 4)

If Red Bull have closed the gap to Mercedes over the winter break, it will create further problems for Bottas.

Sergio Perez joining Max Verstappen at Red Bull makes the Milton Keynes-based outfit a significantly stronger threat to Mercedes.

An off day for Bottas will be clear to see because Perez and Verstappen will be there to capitalise. This was not the case in 2020 because Red Bull only had one car that was able to challenge at the front during most of the races.

Should Mercedes have a clear margin over the rest of the field, Bottas will have a slightly easier job because he will have two less drivers to worry about, although matching and even beating Hamilton will be no easy task.

In qualifying, Bottas is right there and the margins between the pair were close in 2020. He was just 0.082 behind Hamilton on average across the season.

He will need to be consistently at his best to stay with Hamilton and he has not been able to do yet in the last four seasons.

With Hamilton showing no signs of slowing down, Bottas will need to hit new heights and a purple patch of form early on to gain momentum.

“The main thing over the winter and over the break has been self-honesty - trying to work out how I can be better,” said Bottas.

"Knowing that when I'm on the grid in Bahrain that I've done everything I can to be at my physical and mental best, knowing I gave everything.”

Luck went against Bottas last year at times so capitalising on any mistakes or misfortune that Hamilton suffers will be critical. Psychologically it will hurt Hamilton and put the pressure on him to recover and hit back.

Realistically Bottas’ fate is out of his own hands. A solid season for Russell at Williams should see him replace Bottas at Mercedes for 2022. Russell’s performances at Williams are just as important as Bottas’ at Mercedes. A poor year for Russell could save Bottas but he cannot rely on that and it seems like a doubtful prospect.

The possibility of Hamilton retiring or taking a sabbatical would almost certainly guarantee Bottas’ place at Mercedes too, given the importance of continuity for next season as F1 undergoes major changes to the cars in an attempt to create better racing and improve the show from 2022.

Even before the first racing laps have taken place, Bottas is in a difficult position and has it all to do to remain with the world champions. If there was ever a time he needed to deliver, the opening stanza of the 2021 Formula 1 season is the time to do it.

0 comments

    x