The Iceman Kimi Raikkonen’s announcement that he’s no longer going to continue in the sport has thrown the driver market into a high tide of sorts. There’s a vacant seat at Alfa Romeo where Kimi and Antonio are currently racing. Next year, there could well be two- not one- empty seats as Raikkonen’s departure could also prompt Fred Vasseur to rethink about the second seat.
For the longest time now, there have been hush-hush rumours doing rounds that either both Alfa Romeo drivers would leave or would get replaced though the French team principal hasn’t denied or confirmed anything as such.
The pressure has surely been building on Antonio Giovinazzi, the driver to open the team’s account this year thanks to a fighting tenth at the Monaco GP. That being said, let’s also consider the fact that Formula 1 ebbs and flows a bit like everyday math.
The equations; permutations and combinations are often co-related. The more the pressure on Giovinazzi and a possible exist spells good news for none other than Valtteri Bottas.
The Mercedes driver, currently driving in his tenth Formula 1 season is breathing heavy, not owing not due to a health woe but owing to an issue that could make any driver a tad bit anxious and in some cases, overly anxious.
It’s the question about his Formula 1 future: which team does he go to next, in the wake of Mercedes’ decision to shake things up a bit for 2022, a brand new year in Formula 1’s turbo-hybrid era chapter, one that would be punctuated by new sporting rules and regulations that aim to make the top flight in motor-racing a bit more competitive and a level-playing field.
That being said, that the talks surrounding George Russell being elevated to Mercedes from his current Williams racing team could also be increasing Bottas’ anxieties.
Will he be able to find a Formula 1 team in due course of time and that too, with a strong runner on the grid. For that’s obviously the top or main priority for the 32-year-old Nastola-born driver.
If not, then Bottas will certainly look to be in a team that can, at least, show signs of a rise and improvement, if it does come down to a midfielder, the chances of which are high.
Though, what one also needs to remember is that a large part of Mercedes’ decision-making happens keeping in mind the right driver pairing cliched that it may sound, more so since Lewis is the main-man and the team’s priority.
So in some ways, and with due respect to the driver who, in recent days, has made a habit of finishing on the podium in tracks like Russia, Valtteri Bottas could also remain with Mercedes.
But then will the Black Arrows be willing to sign him for a multi-year agreement?
For now, the winner of the 2020 Russian GP and the Austrian contest has stated clearly that his main goal at the moment is to secure a multi-year deal.
Here’s more from Planet F1 on the key racing matter:
Maybe, maybe not, I can’t say,” he replied when asked if Wolff had told him the decision of who would be Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate at Mercedes next season.
“Sorry, but I can’t share anything yet. For me personally, things are going in the right direction. I’m very excited and very happy.
A multi-year contract would be nice, that’s something I never had before in Formula 1,” Bottas told reporters. That way I definitely could give full commitment to the team, knowing the work will continue. It needs to be challenging, exciting, fun, in an atmosphere I’d really enjoy working in. I think those are really the main things I’m looking forward. Like I’ve said before, I still have quite a few years in Formula 1. I really want to continue in Formula 1, for sure,” he’d conclude.