May 7 (GMM) Valtteri Bottas is likely to stay at Mercedes beyond 2020, according to former F1 driver Karun Chandhok.
Chandhok, an Indian driver who raced for Lotus and HRT, told the Finnish news agency STT that Bottas “has the best job in the world – he gets to drive for Mercedes”.
“On the other hand, it’s the worst job in the world because he has the best driver of his generation as his teammate. Lewis Hamilton is among the top five drivers ever,” Chandhok, now a pundit for British television, said.
“I would say Bottas and Alex Albon have the worst jobs. But when I saw Bottas in testing in Barcelona, he was really, really good. On his good days, he is right at the top.
“He just has to figure out how to be able to do it more often. Of course it’s easy to say what he should do, but I do think he has the necessary skills. I just don’t know what it would take mentally to do it,” he added, referring to Bottas’ chances of actually beating Hamilton to the title.
Some believe that Bottas is nonetheless the perfect teammate for Hamilton.
Chandhok said: “I’d be surprised if they (Mercedes) changed him. This season is shorter and they’re basically keeping the same car next year, so it makes sense to keep the same drivers.”
As for F1’s halted 2020 season, Chandhok backs Liberty Media’s plans to get up and running again with spectator-less ‘ghost races’ and a strictly controlled environment.
“They had to make some kind of plan B,” he said. “It would have been wrong not to make any plan at all.
“I don’t think we will get 18 races – 14-15 is more realistic. And any more than 12 should still be taken seriously for the world championship.”