Bottas not letting thoughts about 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 thoughts about 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.”

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 fits shroud to 'magic button' to avoid Hamilton Baku F1 repeat

Mercedes fits shroud to 'magic button' to avoid Hamilton Baku F1 repeat
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022