Bottas not letting Mercedes F1 future become a distraction

Valtteri Bottas is yet to properly discuss his Formula 1 future with Mercedes, saying he does not want thoughts about his 2022 plans to become a distraction.

Bottas not letting Mercedes F1 future become a distraction

Bottas is out of contract with Mercedes at the end of the year, with his future set to be a key point of the driver market for 2022 amid suggestions the team could sign George Russell.

Russell has been part of Mercedes’ young driver programme since 2017, and has impressed during his time with Williams since making his F1 debut in 2019, as well as in his one-off appearance for Mercedes in Sakhir last year.

But Bottas said on Thursday ahead of the French Grand Prix that he “hadn’t really thought about it yet that deeply”, wishing to focus on his on-track performances instead of being distracted by speculation about his future.

“Obviously you can't always block the noise that is around, and every season is the same thing: the same questions and same speculation, that's part of the sport,” Bottas said, having always been on one-year rolling contracts since joining Mercedes in 2017.

“So I think it's a bit too early for me yet to answer that in detail. We haven't really yet discussed anything about contract with Mercedes, and that will come eventually.

“Now, it's just really the focus for this triple-header, and we'll see that after maybe at some point, but not much more to say at this point.”

Read Also:

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521, and Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521, and Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Bottas has endured a difficult start to the 2021 season, scoring only three podiums in the first six races and finishing a race no higher than third, leaving him sixth in the drivers’ championship.

It has led to growing speculation about the Finn’s future, but Bottas made clear he had not been given any indications by Mercedes that he would not be retained for next year.

“With Toto [Wolff], we speak often, that's normal for us, and we've also spoken lately,” Bottas said.

“That’s normal. But I can confirm that, at least nobody told me about that [not being retained], so yeah that's not true, that's speculation.

“I’m sure there's all kinds of speculation that is not based on any facts. People are trying to make up stories, just for the clicks. That’s how it goes.”

Mercedes has typically opened talks with Bottas about a new F1 contract around the summer break, with his 2021 contract being announced last August.

Bottas said that “every year is different” in the timing of talks, and had no feeling deep down at present whether or not he’d be at Mercedes next year.

“It depends how your season has been and depends on the overall situation of the team, if they are looking for other options or not at all,” Bottas said.

“Some years has been earlier, some years later, so that's not like a norm.

“But all I can say is that we just want to focus on the next three races. It's going to require a lot from us as a team before we make any decisions together.

“And my gut feeling at the moment, I haven't really allowed myself to think about that too much, because that can become a distraction, I've learned that.

“So it will come at some point. And so, for now the gut is not saying anything. I just want to win races and get the results that I'm aiming for personally.”

shares
comments

Related video

Verstappen: Pirelli cannot blame F1 teams for tyre failures
Previous article

Verstappen: Pirelli cannot blame F1 teams for tyre failures

Next article

Mercedes makes "short-term fix" to 'magic button' after Baku

Mercedes makes "short-term fix" to 'magic button' after Baku
Load comments
The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Prime

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021