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
Load comments
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021