Ralf Schumacher has warned that Valtteri Bottas’ F1 career could be over if he doesn’t have a strong race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
The Finn was outperformed by George Russell when the young Brit filled in for Lewis Hamilton at last weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix, though Bottas ended up finishing one place ahead of him in P8.
Commenting on the prospect of Bottas losing his Mercedes seat to Russell next year, Schumacher said the Silver Arrows may decide to drop him unless he has a strong end to the season.
“Maybe it will depend on the last race. But if he has another race weekend like last, the risk is too great. His performance in the last races was really bad,” Schumacher told Motorsport-total.com.
Continuing, the ex-F1 driver said he believes Bottas could cost Mercedes the Constructors’ Championship next year:
“You can’t go into the next year with a driver like that and expect to collect points to win the Constructors’ Championship.
“I think he’s broken and I believe that after the weekend that George Russell showed, no one at Mercedes will want to take the risk again.
“I think the pendulum has already swung in one direction. “I would almost be surprised if he could rehabilitate himself this weekend,” he added.
Should Mercedes decide to ditch Bottas despite him recently signing a contract with them for 2021, Williams would be the most likely destination for him next season, as George Russell’s seat would suddenly become vacant.
However, Schumacher isn’t convinced that they would want Bottas to re-join them, so the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix could potentially be his last race in Formula One.
“The question is: does Williams want this Valtteri Bottas or not? I suspect it will mean the end of his career.
“I don’t think anyone is saying ‘yeah!’ at the moment. If Mercedes does replace him now, they have good reason to do so,” Schumacher concluded.