Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas said he is not in a hurry to discuss a new contract with the Silver Arrows after the 2021 season.
The Finnish driver is about to start his fifth season with the team. Despite not having won a single title with Mercedes, Bottas surely helped the team to secure every constructor championship since his arrival.
But he never signed a multi-year contract with Mercedes, which always re-signed him with a one-year contract. This situation did not help Bottas, who had to cope with a lot of pressure and criticism since he never beat his seven-world champion teammate, Lewis Hamilton.
Both Valtteri’s and Lewis’s contracts are set to expire at the end of this year, meaning that Mercedes can look around and maybe search for new, younger drivers on the market. Just to mention one, George Russell.
Ahead of the 2021 season, the Finnish driver said that he is “in no rush” to discuss a new deal with Mercedes for next year.
“I’m honestly in no rush for that,” Bottas said after the presentation of the new Mercedes W12.
“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. 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.”
What Bottas will do in the future is extremely important for the Formula 1 drivers market. This because Mercedes needs to consider where to place the rising star George Russell next year.
The British driver’s contract with Williams will expire at the end of this season, and he surely impressed everyone at the Sakhir GP where he replaced Lewis Hamilton.
Valtteri also admitted that it would be quite disappointing for him not to beat his teammate at least once, something that indeed he never did in the past four years.
“Of course, in a way, it would be disappointing, because I’ve been team-mates with Lewis now several years, and every year that is the goal,” Bottas said.
“But what would be more disappointing is if I look back and realize 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 maximize like I said myself and the people around me, and give everything I have, then there are no regrets.
“But I’m speaking as if it’s not with Lewis that I’m fighting or winning titles. I haven’t thought that far. I’m putting full focus on this season and obviously, then we’ll see after.”