Valtteri Bottas in a “Very Difficult Situation” for 2017

Former Formula 1 driver Mika Salo has offered his insight into Bottas’ one year placement at Mercedes, claiming that the Finn could be between a rock and a hard place.

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We knew from the start that whoever was going to replace Rosberg was going to be in a bit of a precarious position. While the Mercedes seat is a highly coveted one, filling it on such short notice puts the team in the position of having to act on a much tighter time-frame than they usually would. Bottas as the stop-gap for 2017 is the perfect example of that.

Mercedes has stated that it wants to see how Bottas handles himself out on the track before committing to anything long-term.

BRACKLEY, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16:  (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Valtteri Bottas is unveiled as a Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 driver at the team's factory on January 16, 2017 in Brackley, England.  (Photo by Steve Etherington/Getty Images)
BRACKLEY, ENGLAND – JANUARY 16: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Valtteri Bottas is unveiled as a Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 driver at the team’s factory on January 16, 2017 in Brackley, England. (Photo by Steve Etherington/Getty Images)

Now, not only does Bottas have to contend with the rest of the pack for dominance, he’s also got to run alongside Lewis Hamilton – a sentiment shared by former F1 driver Mika Salo:

They put Valtteri in a very difficult situation, against Lewis, on a one-year contract. It’s not easy. It’s just surprising, to make a one-year contract in Formula 1 nowadays. Everybody wants to make long-term contracts. 

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.

So, we’ll see. I guess they just want to see how he performs and then see after that.” – Mika Salo

SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 11:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP, Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP and Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Williams race into the first corner during the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on October 11, 2015 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA – OCTOBER 11: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP, Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP and Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Williams race into the first corner during the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on October 11, 2015 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

“Wait and see” seems to be the general theme of the 2017 season already. With so much of it tossed up in the air, we can’t be certain of how the pieces will fall until we’re in the thick of it.

I guess it’s time to knock down another day off of my F1 advent calendar.