Mercedes newcomer Valtteri Bottas has signed on for only a one-year contract, but Mercedes would be wise to extend it if he keeps this level of performance up.
Perhaps there really is something about Finnish culture that lends itself to exceptional Motorsports racing. One might be tempted to attribute the cause to the no-nonsense approach they bear, or the icy demeanour by which they approach the task at hand. Then again, maybe Valtteri is just an excellent driver. An excellent driver he is, and from his performance during the pre-season tests so far, Mercedes would have it in their best interests to watch him closely. While his first outing in the Silver Arrow wasn’t anything special, Bottas has been ramping up his lap times day after day as he becomes more comfortable with the machine. Now, during the second day of week two of the Barcelona pre-season test, he’s topped the charts once more.
There’s no doubt that Valtteri has been given a chance to drive one of the sleekest, sexiest, and most powerful rides out on the track, but his mastery over the vehicle already is impressive to say the least. Mercedes has gone on record saying that they’ve adopted the one-year contract in Bottas’ case to keep their options open – but if he continues this sort of performance, they’ll have a fantastic option that’s already familiar with the team.
There were rumors that McLaren’s Fernando Alonso was supposed to be tapped for the replacement, but Alonso declined because he was “happy with McLaren”. Something tells us that that may no longer be the case. If McLaren-Honda can’t get their stuff together soon and resolve their issues, and Valtteri continues to deliver this kind of performance… the open Mercedes seat at the end of the year is going to be an event to watch with popcorn in hand.