Monday, December 6News That Matters

Bottas receives unwanted endorsement from Red Bull chief amid doubts over his Mercedes future

Valtteri Bottas has received a dreaded vote of confidence — from the boss of Mercedes’ rivals!

Bottas is on a one-year contract and is under pressure from George Russell, the 23-year-old Briton who excelled when filling in for Lewis Hamilton last year. 

As Sportsmail revealed on Tuesday, some Mercedes engineers are losing faith in the Finn, who is 37 points behind Hamilton after three races.

Mercedes are losing faith in Valtteri Bottas, who may be replaced before the end of the season

Enter Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. 

Asked if he thought Bottas could be axed mid-season, Horner said: ‘Valtteri has done a great job over the last few years. I’d be surprised if they did switch Valtteri and George around.’

A struggling Bottas would suit Horner as he tries to deny Mercedes an eighth consecutive constructors’ title. Red Bull are 18 points adrift in the standings.

The Finn is 37 points behind Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton after three races

The Finn is 37 points behind Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton after three races

The Finn is 37 points behind Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton after three races 

Valtteri Bottas is on a one-year contract and under pressure from George Russell (above)

Valtteri Bottas is on a one-year contract and under pressure from George Russell (above)

Valtteri Bottas is on a one-year contract and under pressure from George Russell (above)