Guest writer: Timothy Ainebyona
Reports reaching this website indicate that early Formula 1 pace-setters Mercedes have agreed a deal in principle that will see Valtierri Bottas stay on as Lewis Hamilton’s team mate next year. The Finn first joined Mercedes on a one year rolling contract in 2017 as a replacement for then world champion Nico Rosberg,who retired after beating Hamilton to the 2016 title,a rolling contract which has been renewed twice so far,and is set to be renewed a third time.While no official communication has come from the Mercedes camp,reputable sources claim that the team have been impressed by Bottas’ early season form,which saw him finish second behind Hamilton in a Mercedes one-two,as well has his excellent relationship with his team-mate.
It is important to remember that prior to Rosberg’s shock retirement,Mercedes had been plagued by fractious relations between their two drivers,a predictable situation brought about by a clash of egos between two men who each considered themselves superior to the other.Where Rosberg was confrontational,Bottas is mild.Where Rosberg openly courted controversy with aggressive driving and acidic comments to the press,Bottas has quietly gone about his job.The obvious cause of his success at Mercedes is his willingness to accept his place as number two behind the imperious Hamilton and that’s not to say Bottas is any sort of slouch.
The thirty year old has not finished lower than second in the Driver’s Championship finishing above highly rated drivers such as Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen and now, Charles Leclere to cement his status as an elite driver,who happens to be rational enough to humbly accept his role in the team.This humility has eliminated any possibility of the ego clash frequently witnessed at Mercedes in the mid 2010s.A new deal for Bottas brings to an end whatever little speculation there was of the possibility that Mercedes could sign four time world champion Sebastian Vettel to partner Hamilton in a star studded line up. If any such talk wasn’t considered impertinent enough,considering Mercedes’ previous experiences with an all star cast in the not so distant past,it has all been laid to rest.