Bottas sponsor not ruling out move to Ferrari


Mercedes sponsor Wihuri is confident Valtteri Bottas will retain his seat with the Silver Arrows squad next season, but a move to Ferrari could also be in the cards for the Finn.

Bottas' defense of his coveted seat got off to a rocky start in Australia where a crash in qualifying put the driver on the back foot at the outset.

The 28-year-old is backing himself to bounce back in Bahrain next week, a message echoed by personal sponsor and long-time supporter Antti Aarnio-Wihuri.

"I think it's likely that Valtteri will continue with Mercedes, but in Formula 1 anything can happen," said Aarnio-Wirhuri, whose packaging company Wihuri followed the Finn when he moved from Williams to Mercedes in 2017.

Cooling miscalculation hindered Bottas' run

The German team will likely keep its options open for the next few months, as it closely follows Bottas' performance.

But Mercedes will also keep a watchful eye on Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Force India protégé Esteban Ocon, two men seen as potential contenders for a plum drive with the team in 2019.

Aarnio-Wihuri, one of Finland's wealthiest men, speculated that a move to Ferrari cannot therefore be ruled out for Bottas.

"I think Raikkonen's time is coming to an end," he said. "Last year we saw that his driving started to become inconsistent. Probably his interest is starting to fade."

Ferrari has expressed interest in Bottas in the past, so Aarnio-Wihuri speculates: "Valtteri's move to Ferrari can still be quite possible.

"In the meantime, every F1 driver dreams of driving for Ferrari at some point."

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