F1: Hamilton and Bottas take the W12 Mercedes around Bahrain
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Valtteri Bottas says his manager Didier Coton is currently working on his future in Formula One, with speculation the Finn may be dropped by Mercedes for next season. Bottas is out of contract with the seven-time world champions at the end of the season, with talks yet to be opened with Mercedes about 2022.
Yet, when asked if options were being lined up, given Coton was in the paddock in Budapest, Bottas replied: “I can’t tell you but they are working.”
Russell, who is also out of contract with Williams come the end of the season has been hounded about his future ever since he stepped in for Bottas’ team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the Sakhir Grand Prix in the penultimate race of last season when he nearly beat Bottas in his debut for Mercedes.
He ultimately ended up P9 due to a pit stop blunder and a puncture, however, the young Mercedes driver still sent ripples through the paddock.
Bottas meanwhile has found himself in limbo, with boss Toto Wolff admitting it was a straight fight between the pair for next season, with a decision likely over the summer break,
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The 31-year-old currently sits behind Lando Norris in fourth in the driver standings, as his team-mate Lewis Hamilton leads the way by eight points.
Assessing the first half of the season, Bottas admitted: “It hasn’t gone my way.
“At least in the last few races [before Hungary] it felt like it was a slightly positive trend, getting some podiums and more points.
“But now I have three DNFs, which is quite a lot, a big chunk of points, so it’s not been great.
“There is still more than half [the season] to go in terms of the number of races and we keep going. At least as a team, we’ve got more points than Red Bull.”
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Bottas struggled in Hungary, as he locked up under braking in wet conditions on the run down to Turn One, slamming into the back of McLaren’s Norris.
Norris then hit Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who picked up major damage to his barge board – with Bottas then sliding into Perez, causing his retirement.
Perez was forced out of the race, and despite limping his Red Bull home, Verstappen could only collect two points for the team, however, it did give Bottas’ team-mate the chance to take a haul of points home to retake the lead of the standings.
However, the Finn believed that one race wouldn’t affect anything, adding: “We’ll see in the next weeks what happens.”
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