Valtteri Bottas has a contract with Mercedes-Benz until the end of 2018. Ex-Renault driver Jolyon Palmer believes: It is in the interest of Lewis Hamilton that Bottas continues to partner him.
Bottas has only received a contract from Mercedes-Benz until the end of 2018. The Finn is quite pragmatic: “It’s up to me to prove that I deserve a longer-term deal. I know that I can beat Lewis Hamilton, I already did that in 2017. Only I have to manage to put Lewis under constant pressure.”
Not quite the rhetoric we’d expect to hear from a driver whose performances impressed at the end of last season, with many a pundit and fan questioning whether such momentum could be like Nico Rosberg’s run of form at the end of 2015 into 2016. Obviously, the end result in ’16 was the World Drivers Championship for the German.
Perhaps instead it takes a clear ‘number 2’ to see another? Jolyon Palmer will be working as a Formula 1 expert on BBC Radio 5 in 2018 and the British ex Renault driver, who was replaced before the end of last season by Carlos Sainz Jr, believes that it would be in the interest of Lewis if Valtteri gets an extension to his contract.
“That would certainly make Hamilton very happy,” says Palmer. “At Mercedes we would then have the same situation as Ferrari with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. Vettel is a kind of number one there, officially or not, and he’s always publicly backed up for Kimi to stay. ”
Hamilton is himself out of contract for 2019 and beyond, but according to Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff that will change soon: “I would like to have the new agreement with Lewis completed before the beginning of the new season.” confirms Wolff.
“I’ve not spoken to any other team, and Mercedes knows that.” alluded Hamilton at Barcelona last week, “We both want this new contract, it’s just about details. Yes, we want to do that ahead of Australia, but we are not under pressure. “