Valtteri Bottas says that Lewis Hamilton has told him directly that he wants the Finn to remain his teammate at Mercedes next season.
Although Mercedes has secured Hamilton’s services until the end of 2023, the Brackley squad is still mulling its decision about whether to retain Bottas or replace the Finn with George Russell.
The consensus in the paddock is that the Williams charger will inherit the plum drive for next season, with Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff recently suggesting that a final will be made in September.
“It remains to be seen what happens,” Bottas told Finland’s MTV.
“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.
Read also: Wolff hints at delay to Mercedes driver decision
Nevertheless, Bottas is trying to establish a few back-up options, just in case.
The 31-year-old’s management is rumored to be in talks with Alfa Romeo Racing, although a direct swap with Russell with Williams, where Bottas’ raced between 2016 and 2016, could also be an option.
“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,” added the nine-time Grand Prix winner.
Needless to say, Bottas hopes to remain with Mercedes and insists that Hamilton would also favour such a scenario, although he made clear that the seven-time world champion would not have the last word when it comes to choosing his 2022 teammate.
“Yes, Lewis has told me directly that he would like me to be his teammate,” Bottas claimed.
“Together we can do very well. The fact is, drivers can’t make a terrible impact on it [Mercedes’ choice]. Yes, there’s a bigger machine behind it that ultimately makes those decisions.”
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