Bottas calls out ‘bullshit’ report of in-season exit at Mercedes

Valtteri Bottas labeled as “bullshit” a report that alleged this week that the Finn could be facing the axe at Mercedes before the end of the 2021 season.

Bottas and teammate Lewis Hamilton will both see their contracts with Mercedes expire at the end of this year, a situation that has generated much speculation about the future of the pair in F1.

Part of the conjecture has included the hypothesis that Mercedes could initiate an in-season swap between Bottas and George Russell.

But the Finn suggested in Barcelona on Thursday that he’s not losing any sleep over the absurd reports of late, and while he was at it, he also took a dig at Red Bull, a team that has often swapped drivers mid-season in the past.

“I know that I’m not going to be replaced in the middle of the season,” said Bottas. “As a team, we don’t do that.

“I have a contract for this year and I believe there’s only one team that does that kind of things in F1 and we’re not that.”

“So no pressure from my side. I know how things are and there’s always bullshit around. That’s part of the sport.”

    Read also: Wolff rubbishes rumors of in-season Bottas-Russell swap

Nevertheless, after just three races, the fight for the world title looks set to evolve into a two man duel between Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

But Bottas isn’t pushing aside his own title ambitions.

“There’s still 20 races to go which is a huge amount of points,” he said. “I’m definitely not giving up on the goal for this year.

“I always believe that hard work will pay off so I’ll keep working hard and keep believing and I know that the results will come and it will pay off.

“About any team orders, et cetera, I’m not worried, to be honest. Not at all. I know there’s a bit of a gap now, but it’s super-early days.

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“For me there’s no point starting to think about that so I’m not worried.”

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