Bottas “in no rush” to discuss new Mercedes F1 contract

Valtteri Bottas says he is “in no rush” to discuss a new Formula 1 contract with Mercedes beyond the end of this year.

Bottas “in no rush” to discuss new Mercedes F1 contract

Bottas is entering his fifth season racing for Mercedes in 2021, having helped the team win the constructors’ championship in each of his past four years alongside Lewis Hamilton.

But the Finn has always been re-signed on rolling one-year contracts at Mercedes, with his existing deal set to expire at the end of this season.

With team-mate Hamilton also on a one-year deal currently, Mercedes has maximum flexibility in the driver market for 2022 with two vacant seats.

PLUS: How Hamilton's one-year deal opens up the 2022 driver market

Following a protracted negotiation period over his 2019 contract, Bottas said last year that he wanted a quick resolution to talks, with a new deal for 2021 being announced in early August.

But heading into the new season, Bottas said he was in no hurry to open talks over a deal for 2022, acknowledging the advantage the team has by keeping two seats free.

“I’m honestly in no rush for that,” Bottas said following the launch of Mercedes’ new W12 car ahead of the 2021 season.

“I kind of get it. If the team has the opportunity for the big change coming in 2022, to have options, to choose both of their drivers, I think it’s good for the team.

“But yeah, honestly, from my side, no rush really. I’m just full gas for the season, and trying to get to my goals.

“Eventually it will be a talking point. Not quite yet.”

 

Bottas’s future is set to be one of the key focus points of F1’s driver market in 2021 as Mercedes considers where to place star junior George Russell for next year.

Russell is out of contract with Williams at the end of this season, and impressed during his sole appearance for Mercedes at last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix, where he deputised for the COVID-struck Hamilton.

Bottas has failed to beat Hamilton in the championship through any of their four years together so far, and admitted it would be “disappointing” if he never got the better of his team-mate over a season.

“Of course, in a way it would be disappointing, because I’ve been team-mates with Lewis now several years, and obviously every year that is the goal,” Bottas said.

“But what would be more disappointing is if I look back and realise things that I could have done better or I should have put more effort.

“I don’t want to leave any what ifs after this year, that’s the ultimate goal. If I give everything I have, if I maximise like I said myself and the people around me, and give everything I have, then there’s no regrets.

“But I’m speaking as if it’s not with Lewis that I’m fighting or winning titles. I haven’t really thought that far. I’m putting full focus on this season and obviously then we’ll see after.”

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