It made me laugh — Valtteri Bottas on Mercedes exit rumours
London, June 11 (IANS): Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas laughed off suggestions that Sebastian Vettel could replace him at Mercedes next season. Ferrari and Vettel mutually called off their partnership and the former champion will be free agent it the end of this season.
It is being speculated that he could form a dream team with Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes while Toto Wolff’s words also added fuel to fire.
Bottas, however, said rumours regarding his exit from Mercedes crop up every year so it doesn’t bother him anymore. Bottas’ contract with Mercedes gets over at the end of the current campaign.
“It’s the same as every year for me. I find it quite funny that with not even a single race done, there’s been people getting my seat. It made me laugh! So there’s no pressure from that side,” Bottas said on Sky F1 Vodcast.
“I have my clear goal for the season in my mind and that’s it.
“Things will then sort themselves one way or another, whatever’s going to happen. I’ve no stress about that at all.”
Mercedes team principal and CEO Toto Wolff had earlier stated they were monitoring Vettel’s situation despite being happy with the racers on their roster currently.
“Sebastian is a four-time world champion and him suddenly becoming available was unexpected. And, therefore, it is a situation that needs to be monitored,” Wolff had said during Sky F1 Vodcast earlier this month.
“Where could he potentially go, where are we with our drivers, and what I said (before) is I wouldn’t discount Sebastian for any seat.
“We have looked at the situation. Our priority and concentration is on our Mercedes drivers – that’s Lewis (Hamilton), Valtteri (Bottas) and the juniors. George Russell being one of them; Esteban Ocon is obviously a Renault driver today.
“And only if we can’t find a solution within that group of drivers we will look elsewhere and then obviously Sebastian is in a very good position,” he added.