Lehto tips Bottas to keep Mercedes seat

Jul.12 (GMM) Former F1 driver JJ Lehto thinks Valtteri Bottas could keep his race seat at Mercedes.

Earlier, former Lotus boss Matthew Carter said he has heard from “sources” that Mercedes reserve Esteban Ocon will replace Bottas for 2020.

But Lehto told Iltalehti newspaper: “Valtteri has done such a good job that I see the possibilities of that (Ocon replacing him) as very small.

“Also, Toto Wolff’s recent comments have not convinced me that Ocon has a strong chance at Mercedes. I see it as more likely that he will go to another team.”

Lehto thinks that if Bottas can maintain his current pace, he will be given another contract extension for 2020.

“Mercedes is definitely thinking about last year, when Bottas was really good until a collapse came after the signing of the extension. Then, everyone wondered why it was extended so early,” said the Finn.

“This year, Valtteri has shown really good momentum all the time. He has been able to challenge Hamilton and if that continues, there is no reason why he would not get a new contract.”

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