Valtteri Bottas has his task cut out for the 2019 season, one where he will need to prove his worth to the Mercedes team after having finished in 5th place in the driver’s standings, despite having the best car on the grid.
In the second half of the season, Bottas was largely used as a wingman in order to help Hamilton secure the title. But on an individual level, Bottas made quite a few errors too.
Mercedes had extended Bottas’ contract in the summer break, but with Ocon having to move on from Force India, the dynamics have changed a bit.
Ocon has been hired as the Mercedes reserve driver and thus the pressure will be on Bottas to deliver every weekend.
Villenueve believes that Bottas could indeed lose his seat in 2019 to Ocon, if he fails to perform according to Mercedes standards.
“I think there is a possibility that Bottas will be replaced by Esteban Ocon during the 2019 season,” Villeneuve said.
There were rumours of Bottas getting a driver coach on board in order to help him with his struggles. Reports had suggested that maybe Rosberg could help Bottas out, but Bottas has gone out and quashed all those rumours.
“No, I don’t need his advice. I need to find my own way both as a driver and a man,” Bottas said.
Do you think Bottas will be able to deliver for Mercedes next season or the pressure would once again get to him and Ocon will end up securing that second Mercedes seat?