RUSSELL OR BOTTAS: WHO WILL DRIVE FOR MERCEDES IN 2022
A big talking point this season has been 'that' second seat at Mercedes alongside Lewis Hamilton for 2022. Will one of the most dominant Formula One teams in history stick with current and reliable driver Valtteri Bottas who has been with the team since 2017 after Nico Rosberg retired at the end of 2016 after winning his one and only World Championship. Or will they go with Mercedes young driver George Russell currently outperforming the Williams towards the back of the grid.
The talk of Russell replacing Bottas really started at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix after Russell replaced Hamilton after the reigning World Champion was forced to sit out due to a positive COVID test. In that race Russell showed he has the speed and the mentality to race and fight at the front of the grid - but after a pit stop mix up - George finished in the lower reaches of the points - his first in F1 - after looking set for a maiden victory.
The chances of Russell making the step up almost didn't happen after this years race in Imola when Russell and Bottas crashed - taking both of them out the race - angering Mercedes boss Toto Wolff enough to suggest that if this happen again Russell could find himself racing in the Renault Clio Cup.
Ever since Hamilton signed a new contract - the only talk has been either the fight between Lewis and Max [Verstappen] for the title or who will partner Lewis next year - earlier on in the year F1 released a chart showing what people had voted for;
13% said that Mercedes would stick with Hamilton and Bottas for 2022
12% of people thought Mercedes would spend big money to bring Verstappen to partner Lewis dropping Valtteri.
17% want Mercedes to drop both Hamilton and Bottas and go with Russell and Verstappen.
39% think that Hamilton and Russell will be the better partnership for the Silver Arrows.
11% think that if Lewis does decide enough is enough then Mercedes will be loyal to Bottas keep him and put him together with Russell.
and finally 8% think that Hamilton and Norris would be the best bet.
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