Bottas at a better place ‘mentally’ with Williams – Button
Jenson Button believes that if Valtteri Bottas isn’t retained by Mercedes for 2022, the Finn would fit in well at Williams where he would be “in a better place” mentally.
Mercedes is expected to make a call on its second seat alongside Lewis Hamilton for 2022 before the end of the summer, and for now all bets are on George Russell replacing Bottas at the Brackley squad.
Last week, it was reported that Bottas’ management – which includes Mercedes boss Toto Wolff – had opened talks with Alfa Romeo Racing, a team that could fit the bill for the Finn who is believed to have dismissed a move to Williams, fearing that the Grove-based outfit would leave him endlessly stranded at the bottom of the grid.
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Yet Button, an advisor to Williams, believes the British outfit and Bottas would make a good fit, just as they did when team and driver worked together for four seasons in F1 from 2013 to 2016.
“There are quite a few contracts up at the end of the season, I think, but I don’t think there will be any significant changes,” said the 2009 F1 world champion in an interview for the subscribers of magazine app Readly.
“It could be a complete swap around with Williams and Mercedes, I guess with George going to Mercedes and Valtteri coming to Williams.
“He’s been at Williams before and I’m sure it hurts to go to a team that isn’t fighting in front. But he would be great for Williams.
“He comes with a lot of experience and maybe he’d find his feet again and mentally he’d be in a better place. He’d also be at a team that doesn’t have Lewis Hamilton in it.”
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Last month, Williams chief executive Jost Capito said that he would love to keep Russell onboard next season. But Button insists that will be impossible if Mercedes comes calling.
“I think Mercedes have been happy with Valtteri not being on pace the last few seasons,” said the Briton. “But he’s always come away with good points in second or third in the races, so Mercedes have always won the Constructors’ Championships.
“But this year, he hasn’t been performing as well and has been out of the points, and they are not getting the points they are used to, so that’s why they are probably looking elsewhere to get another driver for 2022.
“With my Williams hat on it would be sad to lose George, but the team completely understand that if he gets an opportunity to race in a car like the Mercedes, they have to let him go.”
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