Nico Rosberg reckons Valtteri Bottas doesn’t need to win grands prix to secure another season at Mercedes, he just needs to keep the peace with Lewis Hamilton.
Drafted in to replace Rosberg after the 2016 World Champion’s shock retirement, Bottas has proven to be a good team-mate for Hamilton.
So much so that last season team boss Toto Wolff called him the perfect “wingman”.
It wasn’t a comment that went down well with Bottas who failed to win a grand prix in 2018, robbed of the Baku victory by a late puncture and later forced to hand over P1 in Russia.
Despite his win-less season, Bottas earned a new contract for 2019 with an option for next season.
And Rosberg reckons Mercedes could yet take up that option even if Bottas doesn’t challenge Hamilton for the title. In fact not challenging him may be the best way forward.
“Every year is important and it is always going to be a difficult year against Lewis,” Rosberg told the Daily Mail.
“Of course it is important for Valtteri to keep performing and to keep showing he can win races and possibly also challenge for the title, too.
“Saying that, as long as it works so well, it is harmonious and even if Lewis dominates again, Valtteri doesn’t have to be on one level with Lewis to merit staying on the team.
“If he creates a great atmosphere and is good support for Lewis for the championship, that is also of high value and therefore there are many scenarios for him to merit and stay on with Mercedes.”
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