One-year Mercedes F1 deal 'difficult' for Bottas, Salo believes

Ex-Formula 1 driver Mika Salo says Mercedes has put Valtteri Bottas in a "very difficult situation" by only giving him a one-year deal alongside Lewis Hamilton

One-year Mercedes F1 deal 'difficult' for Bottas, Salo believes

Bottas was signed from Williams to replace retiring world champion Nico Rosberg, but his contract only covers the 2017 F1 season, with options to extend it beyond that.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has explained that the team wants to keep its options open for 2018, when the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso could be available, which Salo feels makes life tough for his fellow Finn.

"It's just surprising, to make a one-year contract in Formula 1 nowadays," he told Autosport's sister title Motorsport.com.

"Everybody wants to make long-term contracts.

"I just don't know what the reason is behind it.

"[Mercedes keeping its options open for 2018 is] the only reason I can imagine, because Valtteri is good enough to sign for longer term.

"So, we'll see. I guess they just want to see how he performs and then see after that.

"They put Valtteri in a very difficult situation, against Lewis, on a one-year contract. It's not easy."

However, Salo believes Bottas is strong enough to overcome the added pressure of his contract situation.

"It will be plenty [of time], it's no problem," he added.

"He's a professional guy, he has four years in Formula 1 already, so it's not a big deal.

"It's just that when you have peace of mind that you will continue, you can perform better."

If Mercedes remains F1's benchmark, Salo believes a reasonable target for Bottas would be to run Hamilton close, and even beat him from time to time.

"[It] depends on the Mercedes quite a lot, what kind of car they can make," said Salo.

"I would imagine that it's still the best, but then what Valtteri has to do is finish second behind Lewis all the time and even beat him sometimes.

"I rate Lewis very highly, he's very good in qualifying.

"I'd like to think that Valtteri is maybe even a little bit better in the race.

"He's kind to the car, kind to the tyres, so he might have a good chance in the races."

shares
comments
F1 2017 rule changes questioned by ex-FIA president Max Mosley
Previous article

F1 2017 rule changes questioned by ex-FIA president Max Mosley

Next article

BMW F1 return not part of the manufacturer's plans

BMW F1 return not part of the manufacturer's plans
Grading F1's 2022 drivers at half-term Plus

Grading F1's 2022 drivers at half-term

Over the first 13 races of Formula 1's new ground effects era, Max Verstappen has surged into the lead in the world championship over Charles Leclerc. But as the 2022 season prepares to roar back into life, who stacks up as the top of the class, and who must do better? We graded every driver based on their performances so far

The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season Plus

The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season

It’s 13 down, nine to go as the Formula 1 teams pause for breath in the summer break. But what can we expect to happen over the next three months from Belgium to Abu Dhabi? Here's the key storylines to keep an eye out for the rest of the 2022 season

Formula 1
Aug 18, 2022
The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream Plus

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream

OPINION: The Formula 1 grid's wait for a new American driver looks set to continue into 2023 as the few remaining places up for grabs - most notably at McLaren - look set to go elsewhere. This is despite the Woking outfit giving tests to IndyCar aces recently, showing that the Stateside single-seater series still has some way to go to being seen as a viable feeder option for F1

Formula 1
Aug 17, 2022
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022