During his appearance on the Beyond the Grid podcast Valtteri Bottas reveals that him and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff mutually agreed not to renew his contract.
“It was honestly like we agreed,” the Finn said.
“It was not like he told me. He knew that, at some point, we need to make decisions, and, already, I had decided myself that if I can’t get two years or more with Mercedes, I’m definitely going to go for something new.
“And it was a simple question of, can he offer me more than two years, two years or more? And he said, no, he can’t at this moment, and then it was quite easy.”
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Mercedes then decided to hire George Russell, a long-time member of their junior drivers’ programme. Bottas says he completely understands the team’s decision.
“Obviously, it was very natural to get George in the car, because he’s been kind of part of the team for a long time.
“It’s a new generation, and that’s also how the sport is evolving. Mercedes, they’ve had this Young Driver Programme, and George has been in that for a long time.
“And for them to waste that opportunity, in case he obviously still develops further and becomes more experienced, and even quicker, they didn’t want to miss the opportunity.
“So for me, it’s all good. For me, I’m really happy,” Valtteri concluded.