Bottas gives verdict on Mercedes return as Stake ace makes ‘obvious’ comment

Bottas gives verdict on Mercedes return as Stake ace makes ‘obvious’ comment

The Finnish driver spent five seasons with the Brackley-based team between 2017 and 2021, collecting ten Grand Prix victories and playing the second driver role to perfection as he helped Hamilton to dominate the World Championship.

However, Bottas departed the team at the end of his final contract in 2021 with Toto Wolff opting to call upon the services of George Russell, who had enjoyed Mercedes backing throughout his junior career.

Following this news, the 34-year-old opted to join perennial midfield runners Sauber for the 2022 season, partnering Zhou Guanyu. However, after a promising first season with the Swiss team, 2023 offered little in the way of optimism for Bottas.

While Russell is now embedded in the Mercedes team, Hamilton has opted for a late-career switch. The seven-time world champion shocked the motorsport world earlier this month when he signed a contract with Ferrari for the 2025 season.

While Mercedes are some way away from deciding the legendary Brit’s long-term replacement, Bottas stoked the fire when he appeared in Brackley around the time of the news. 

Asked whether or not he would consider a fairytale return to his former team, the Finn responded at the Stake F1 Team livery reveal on Monday night: “It’s no lie, I was in Brackley the day before – not at the Mercedes factory, but I was there doing some other stuff.

“No, we haven’t spoken on the phone yet with Toto. But if I would go back? Yeah… obviously my priority and biggest commitment is the Audi project, which is my target, but if that wouldn’t happen, there is no team that I wouldn’t go to, let’s say. But I know my priorities.”

Asked about his former team-mate’s decision, Bottas responded: “I never imagined it would happen but I am happy for him because it’s good for him.

“I think it is a great challenge, I am sure it is a great motivation for him to bring Ferrari to the top so it’s kind of cool. It will definitely create some movement for the future, which is good for the whole sport and for the drivers.”