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Villeneuve tells Mercedes to keep Bottas

Villeneuve tells Mercedes to keep Bottas
© Reuters
Jacques Villeneuve does not think Mercedes should drop Valtteri Bottas.

Jacques Villeneuve does not think Mercedes should drop Valtteri Bottas.

Many pundits believe it is likely that team boss Toto Wolff will replace the Finn for 2020 with Mercedes reserve driver Esteban Ocon.

Bottas, 29, is currently testing an unbranded M-Sport world rally championship-spec Ford Fiesta in Germany.

"You always learn something when you drive," Bild newspaper quotes Bottas as saying about the 'secret' test.

Outspoken 1997 world champion Villeneuve thinks Mercedes should keep Bottas as Lewis Hamilton's teammate.

"Why would you do that?" he said when considering the prospect of the Hamilton-Bottas partnership being broken up.

"Of course they should continue with Bottas. How many times have they been first and second this season?" Villeneuve added.

"If he was half a second slower at every race, like he was last year, then ok, you can replace him," he said. "But that is not the case."

As for Ocon, Villeneuve commented: "Why would you take him? He is yet to prove himself. I don't know exactly how good he is and would never take that risk."

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Valtteri Bottas pictured on June 22, 2019
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
JapanJapan124521
ChinaChina115824
United StatesUnited States1011930
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia78520
AustraliaAustralia61916
Great BritainGreat Britain56516
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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