Could Valtteri Bottas be in contention for a shock Mercedes comeback? Team boss Toto Wolff left the door open and it appears the Finn returned to his old stomping ground to tease a reunion.
A massive driver vacancy is set to open up at eight-time Constructors’ champions Mercedes, following the shock confirmation that Lewis Hamilton will join rivals Ferrari from 2025.
George Russell then will need a new team-mate, and could it come in the form of the driver who he replaced at Mercedes?
Valtteri Bottas teases Mercedes return with Brackley visit
Bottas played a key role in the glory days at Mercedes, driving alongside Hamilton from 2017-21 and helping ensure that all five Constructors’ crowns were claimed by Mercedes in that time.
Bottas left the team at the end of 2021, with Russell getting the call-up as his replacement, though maybe the Mercedes chapter is not finished just yet for Bottas?
Taking to Instagram, Bottas posted a picture in his story of him playing darts with Brackley, home of the Mercedes F1 team, pinned as the location, plus another social media post with him next to his phone. Awaiting the call from team principal and one-third owner Wolff perhaps?
When Bottas and Mercedes did go their separate ways, they did so on good terms, confirmed by Wolff keeping the door open to the 10-time grand prix winner as they spoke in their last Mercedes team video together.
And just like when Nico Rosberg shockingly retired after winning the 2016 World Championship, could Bottas receive the call from Mercedes again?
“Maybe you go on a little bit of a sabbatical with Alfa Romeo, and then we see how many more [wins] we can add,” Wolff had suggested, to which Bottas replied: “The speed of this sport…you never know what comes ahead of you. At least I know for the next few years but you never know.”
Bottas spent the following two seasons with the Sauber-backed Alfa Romeo team and will continue with them into F1 2024 under their new ‘Stake F1 Team’ identity.
Bottas had put forward his interest to remain with the Hinwil-based outfit into their exciting new Audi era from 2026, though without doubt the potential to return to Mercedes will spark Bottas to proof-read his future plans.