Valtteri Bottas has revealed that Sir Lewis Hamilton has told him “quite directly” that he wants him to be his team-mate at Mercedes next year.
The Finnish driver’s future at the Silver Arrows is far from certain, with Mercedes considering dropping him and promoting George Russell next year.
Numerous F1 pundits have speculated that Hamilton would prefer to still have Bottas in the second car in 2022.
And now, Bottas himself has confirmed that the seven-time World Champion indeed wants him to stay on at Mercedes.
“Lewis has told me quite directly that he would like me to be his team-mate,” Bottas said.
“Together we can do very well. The fact is, drivers can’t make a terrible impact on it. There’s a bigger machine behind it that ultimately makes those decisions.”
Asked for an update on how talks with Mercedes are progressing, Bottas replied: “Unfortunately, there is nothing to say. It remains to be seen what happens.
“I don’t think there will be any news in the near future, but things will be clear in time. Everything is going in the right direction.”
Asked if he has options outside of Mercedes to be on the F1 grid next year, Bottas said “things are being discussed” but he refused to divulge any details.
“I can’t say who we’re going to talk to and what’s going on.
“But things are being discussed so that we can find the best option for next season,” he concluded.
Hamilton Wants ‘Compliant’ Bottas
Earlier this month, ex-F1 driver John Watson said he believes Hamilton wants Mercedes to retain Bottas, as he is a more ” compliant” team mate than Russell would be.
“My thoughts are that Lewis would like to keep Bottas, because he is what I would call a compliant team-mate,” Watson said.
“What he doesn’t want is [to be paired with] someone like George, who did a stunning job last year in Bahrain.
“Lewis is in a position of great authority and power within the Mercedes team, within the Mercedes family.
“There is a very good reason behind why Lewis was prepared to have Bottas.
“If you bring in a young lion like George, who I think is outstanding… I’ve seen over the years where you bring in two drivers who then end up fighting each other in the championship, you open the door to another team.
“I think that, at the end of the day, Mercedes will keep Bottas, simply because it’s a known commodity,” he added.