Bottas: Hamilton ‘directly’ said he wants me to stay

Date published: August 24 2021 - Jamie Woodhouse

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas shake hands. Hungary August 2021

Valtteri Bottas has revealed Lewis Hamilton has said that he wants him to remain his team-mate at Mercedes.

The Finn was brought in prior to the 2017 season, replacing Nico Rosberg who retired shortly after winning the 2016 World Championship.

Since arriving Bottas has brought a far greater harmony to the team, supporting Mercedes in successfully capturing the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Constructors’ titles, though he has never mounted a title challenge against Hamilton.

But, for 2022, Bottas’ seat is under major threat, with Mercedes junior George Russell emerging as a strong candidate to partner Hamilton as Formula 1 introduces radically overhauled regulations.

This is a decision which team boss Toto Wolff is taking his time over, but Hamilton is very much on Bottas’ side, with the Finn saying that Hamilton has “directly” said he wants him to stay.

Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes] with DRS open in Hungary. July, 2021.

View the latest Valtteri Bottas merchandise via the official Formula 1 store

“Unfortunately, there is nothing to say,” Bottas told Finland’s MTV Sport of his Mercedes future, as quoted by RacingNews365.com.

“It remains to be seen what happens. I don’t think there will be any news in the near future, but yes, those things will be clear in time. Everything is going in the right direction.

“I can’t say who we’re going to talk to and what’s going on, but things are being discussed so that we can find the best option for next season.

“Lewis has told me quite directly that he would like me to be his team-mate.

“Together we can do very well. The fact is, drivers can’t make a terrible impact on it. Yes, there’s a bigger machine behind it that ultimately makes those decisions.”

Should Mercedes choose to replace Bottas, then Wolff has spoken of a “great option” still being in place for the 31-year-old in Formula 1.

Bottas has been linked with a return to the Williams team where he achieved nine podiums, while Alfa Romeo have also been mentioned as a possible destination for 2022.