Valtteri Bottas says he wants to remain Lewis Hamilton’s teammate at Mercedes in 2020, but if that fails the Finn wants a drive with Ferrari.
At the start of this season, the Finn’s chances of a new deal appeared slim, following his disappointing 2018 campaign but he has looked stronger and more consistent this season, and at Silverstone was genuinely a match for world champion Hamilton throughout the weekend.
Bottas says he would be happy to remain Hamilton’s teammate at Mercedes next year, “If it wasn’t for Lewis, perhaps I would have won more races.”
“But to be honest, I wouldn’t change anything, because the situation helps me to progress and achieve more. I want to challenge him. I would like to extend the contract for next season,” Bottas told Canal Plus.
Mercedes, however, is clearly looking around on the driver market, and already has the Toto Wolff-supported Esteban Ocon on the reserve bench while their other driver George Russell’s shares climb steadily.
But Bottas insisted, “I think I’ve proved to the team that I deserve to stay at Mercedes. But we will have to wait a few more races. Nothing has been signed yet, but I am trying to keep making progress so that everything should be fine.”
Notably, Bottas said he is setting his sights very high in the event that Mercedes does not keep him, “If I have to leave Mercedes, then I would like to be at the team that is in second place. At the moment that is Ferrari.”
While the Scuderia are fiercely loyal to their drivers Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, the German is living through a crisis of mistakes, prompting speculation he will quit the sport at the end of this season or, if not, take a sabbatical of sorts.
Big Question: What chance that Valtteri ends up at Maranello?