Marko sees swap with Russell as only option for Bottas
Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko believes George Russell's move to Mercedes for 2022 is a foregone conclusion... The post Marko sees swap with Russell as only option for Bottas appeared first on F1i.com.
Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko believes George Russell's move to Mercedes for 2022 is a foregone conclusion and could subsequently lead to Valtteri Bottas' return to Williams.
Mercedes is set to soon enter contract talks with both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. So far, all signs point to the seven-time world champion remaining on the grid in 2022 based on the Briton's most recent comments.
But a cloud of uncertainty is incessantly growing over Bottas' fate, leaving most in the F1 paddock, including Marko, believing that the Finn's days at Mercedes are numbered.
"It would be the logical step", Marko told F1-Insider.com, referring to Russell's move to Mercedes.
"You can't hold it off any longer. Otherwise, the funding no longer makes sense. Even if Hamilton won't be happy."
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Marko brings up a fair point, as Mercedes has invested heavily in Russell's F1 education and forming. To keep him lingering at Williams in the lower tier of the field would equate to neglecting a significant asset.
Marko also suggests that Russell's signing would perhaps ruffle Hamilton's feathers. The Briton is likely to defend Bottas' case and argue that keeping him on the other side of the Mercedes garage will preserve the Brackley team's all-important harmony.
As for Bottas' future in Formula 1 should the Finn's contract not be renewed, Marko sees only one viable option for the 31-year-old: a return to Williams.
"Bottas doesn't have to call us," warned Marko. "There is no space. Actually, I can only imagine a swap with Russell. I think Williams will be the only option for him."
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