Russell has been strongly linked with a move to the Silver Arrows for 2022, and it has been speculated that Bottas could effectively switch seats with him and return to Williams.
However, Watson believes that Hamilton would prefer having a “compliant” Bottas as his team-mate instead of Russell.
He also said that running a “young lion” like Russell alongside Hamilton could open the door to another team, even if Mercedes have the strongest car on the grid next year.
“My thoughts are that Lewis would like to keep Bottas, because he is what I would call a compliant team-mate,” Watson said in an interview with the English edition of RacingNews365.
“What he doesn’t want is [to be paired with] someone like George, who did a stunning job last year in Bahrain.
“Lewis is in a position of great authority and power within the Mercedes team, within the Mercedes family.
“There is a very good reason behind why Lewis was prepared to have Bottas.
“If you bring in a young lion like George, who I think is outstanding… I’ve seen over the years where you bring in two drivers who then end up fighting each other in the championship, you open the door to another team.
“I think that, at the end of the day, Mercedes will keep Bottas, simply because it’s a known commodity,” he added.
Bottas is currently fourth in the Drivers’ Standings on 108 points, while Hamilton sits at the summit of the table on 195 points.
Despite having a far from perfect first half of the season, Mercedes are leading the Constructors’ Championship after benefitting from Red Bull having two woeful races at Silverstone and the Hungaroring.
Team work makes the dream work https://t.co/65pyIxFEyJ— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) July 31, 2021
The post Mercedes Could Be Making A Big Mistake By Partnering ‘Young Lion’ Russell With Hamilton appeared first on Formula1News.co.uk.
Prior to 2021, the Milton Keynes-based team had roughly the second or third fastest car over the course of Formula 1’s V6 turbo-hybrid era, but this season they have been the pacesetters at a number of circuits.
Red Bull lost the lead of both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships after abysmal weekends at Silverstone and the Hungaroring, but Horner has praised the team’s ability to put together a “sustained” campaign this year.
“We’ve managed to win six of the races so far this year, which is a phenomenal record, more than we’ve won in the last couple of years, and I think that being in that Championship fight is exciting for everybody,” Horner said in an interview with Motorsport.com.
“It’s been seven long years that we’ve been very much a support role.
“We’ve managed to win races through being tactically shrewd and being good on our toes, but we were not able to put a sustained campaign together.
“Now we have the tools to do that, we have a chassis that performs extremely well, we have an engine that’s delivering, and we’ve got a driver [Max Verstappen] that’s at the top of his game and experienced.”
And despite Red Bull falling behind Mercedes last time out in Hungary due to a Valtteri Bottas-induced multi-car collision at the first corner, Horner believes everything is still to play for this campaign.
“We just got to do it better than the first half! We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing,” he said.
“There are going to be some challenges on track and off track. But we have just got to keep taking the approach that we have and trying to maximise our performance as a team in each session, each qualifying, and each race.August 19, 2021
“But inevitably, once you get the business end of the championship, the stakes increase.
“You sort of go through and tick off the events one by one at the moment. But the closer to the end you get, the more the pressure increases.”
Verstappen currently trails Sir Lewis Hamilton by eight points in the Drivers’ Standings, while Red Bull are 12 points behind Mercedes in the fight for the Constructors’ Championship.
The post Red Bull Don’t Have To Rely On Being ‘Tactically Shrewd’ To Win GPs appeared first on Formula1News.co.uk.
After discussions with teams, the FIA trialled a system in Austin that automatically deletes laptimes in practice and qualifying for any driver who passes through a double yellow zone.
Similar to that already in place ...Keep reading
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said after the United States GP that Mercedes' system "could be quite powerful" in the remaining races of the season.
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Wolff signed a new three-year deal with the Mercedes F1 Team in December, as the team adopted a new ownership structure, with Wolff, Daimler and Ineos becoming equal third-part owners.
Commenting on his decision to stay on as Mercedes team principal and CEO, Wolff said the move will have implications that stretch much longer than the term of his new deal.
“I reflected for a year if I wanted to continue in this sport, and I took the decision, yes,” Wolff said in an interview with GP Fans.
“But the decision was not that am I willing to continue to lead this team from an operational standpoint but it was more, do I want to stay involved as a shareholder.
“This means the team becomes me and I become the team long-term and this is the decision I took.
“We are three equal shareholders, we complement each other, and whatever I do in the team I’m staying in my role as a co-owner.
“As long as I enjoy the competition and honesty of the stopwatch, I will continue.
“But I may decide spontaneously that somebody else can carry the baton better, be quicker, more agile, refreshed than me, but not yet,” the Austrian concluded.
Mercedes have won every Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship since 2014, when Formula 1 entered its V6 turbo-hybrid era.
Drop a if you can't wait to see W12 back on track! pic.twitter.com/fyTnWbaJcI— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) August 20, 2021
However, in the final season of these regulations, Mercedes have come under threat from a resurgent Red Bull and Max Verstappen, who led both Championships until suffering yet more bad luck last time out in Hungary.
The post Mercedes Boss Warns He May ‘Spontaneously’ Decide To Quit F1 appeared first on Formula1News.co.uk.
The German, who won the 2020 Formula 2 Championship, was signed by Haas for 2021 and he remains affiliated with Ferrari, who helped him land the seat.
With the American racing outfit having the least competitive car on the grid this year, Schumacher is yet to score a point in the pinnacle of motorsport, but he has comprehensively outpaced his fellow rookie team-mate, Nikita Mazepin.
Commenting on Schumacher’s season thus far, Binotto said the priority is ensuring he is learning and gradually making progress.
“Mick in his very first year in F1 driving for Haas, I think we said at the start of the season that the objective for him was first no pressure, but to make sure that he is learning,” Binotto said.
“So 2021 has to be for him an important year in terms of learning. And I think if we look at that objective he is doing well.
“I think Mick since the start of the season is doing well, he is learning, he is progressing. Obviously a few mistakes, but that’s part of the learning process. Overall in terms of balance so far, we can be happy.
“What’s important for him is to continue developing and progressing in the second half. But I’m confident he can do that,” he added.
Binotto made it clear in December that their ultimate goal is for Schumacher to race with Ferrari in Formula 1, and he speculated this could happen as soon as 2023.
“The Ferrari Driver Academy was not created to raise Formula 1 drivers, but the next driver for Ferrari,” the Italian said.
“Today it is too early to decide but there are the premises to see Mick in red in 2023.”
With the planned schedule compressing Friday practice into the afternoons, it means Thursday's regular media day is being ditched in a bid to squeeze events to three days.
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The Spaniard lost some 10 seconds at Silverstone, around five in Istanbul and three in the United States.
Sainz reckons the problems have cost him "quite a lot of points".
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