Bottas will move onto chassis #6, the same chassis that Hamilton has been using since the start of the 2021 season. The reigning world champion will subsequently run chassis #4, which his teammate raced last time out in Baku.

Speaking during Thursday’s FIA press conference at Paul Ricard ahead of the seventh round of the season, Bottas confirmed the swap was pre-planned.

“It’s not a new chassis,” Bottas explained. “It’s different and it was always planned for me to change to a different chassis at this point.”

It will mark the third time that Bottas has changed his chassis so far this year. His first suffered heavy damage in a high-speed crash with Williams driver George Russell at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.

A Mercedes spokesperson confirmed to Crash.net that the change has been made simply to even out chassis mileage between the two cars and there is no performance element related to the swap.

Mercedes plans to reintroduce chassis #5 - which was damaged at Imola - at some point before the end of the season. 

Bottas’ worst start to an F1 season continued at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, where he was left at a loss to explain his lack of pace throughout the weekend as he slumped to a 12th-place finish. After the race, the Finn suggested that something was wrong with his car.

Baku ended up being a role reversal of Monaco, where on that occasion Bottas was the more competitive of the two Mercedes drivers.

And Bottas is hoping to put his run of bad races behind him in France.

“We saw that in Monaco, for me, I managed to find the set-up and the confidence and get the tyres to work and Lewis didn’t,” he said. “It almost felt like vice-versa in Baku.

“I think our car is quite on a knife-edge on those kind of tracks. But I think at least the next few tracks it’s a bit more normal and hopefully we can get a reasonable set-up and and that it’s not that easy to to go into the wrong direction.”