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'Time' to put Russell in Bottas' car - media

'Time' to put Russell in Bottas' car - media
© Reuters
The latest buzz on the Formula 1 rumour mill is that Valtteri Bottas remains in danger of losing his Mercedes seat - perhaps even within 2021.

The latest buzz on the Formula 1 rumour mill is that Valtteri Bottas remains in danger of losing his Mercedes seat - perhaps even within 2021.

The Finnish driver struggled notably both at Monaco and Baku, with boss Toto Wolff even suggesting he was to blame for his stuck wheel-nut at the former street venue.

Bottas said at Baku that he was "surprised" to hear Wolff's claim that he didn't correctly line up his car for the pit crew.

"Valtteri has been so unlucky again this year that you can hardly believe it. Look at Monaco," Wolff now says.

"We will certainly take that into account as we make our driver choice for next year."

Wolff therefore backtracks on his suggestion that Bottas caused the Monaco pitstop problem.

"He was actually very precise at the stop. He didn't make a mistake in the whole story. It was our problem," the Austrian insisted.

"I was wrong there. I said he was out by a few centimetres, but he was just right," Wolff added.

However, observers are claiming that Mercedes is now clearly lacking in terms of its overall driver lineup - particularly as Red Bull's Sergio Perez is now fully up to speed.

"When it comes to the second drivers, I see Perez as having incredible racing intelligence," said well-known German television pundit Kai Ebel.

"Bottas has always sat in the best car over the years, but Perez would have achieved at least as much in that car," he told Sport1.

Ralf Schumacher, meanwhile, told Sky Deutschland that Bottas is not playing an effective support role for Lewis Hamilton if he is "not within striking distance" on track.

"A good teammate can force another team to wherever you want to be," the former F1 driver added.

Schumacher said Bottas was "good at Monaco but bad again at Baku", which is "a huge problem for Mercedes in the world championship fight".

"On the one hand it doesn't help the team standings, but on the other he is completely lacking as a support for Hamilton."

Even the media is recognising the problem, with a report at Germany's RTL insisting that Bottas is "no longer good enough" even for the position of Hamilton's "water carrier".

"The love for Bottas is all well and good - but it's time," the broadcaster added. "It's time to give the youngsters a chance to do better.

"It's time to put George Russell in that cockpit."

De Limburger, a Dutch newspaper, agrees: "Bottas needs to watch out, or Russell will soon be in that Mercedes."

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Mercedes' Team Principal Toto Wolff pictured in August 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina29171662
United StatesUnited States22251764
JapanJapan1761033
AustraliaAustralia1441533
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events


DIVING
· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

ATHLETICS
· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

SAILING
· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

FOOTBALL
· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

CYCLING
· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

BOXING
· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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