Mercedes announced on Saturday that the seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton He had signed a new two-year contract, which will extend their relationship until 2023.
This leaves a free seat in Mercedes by 2022, with Bottas out of contract and facing competition from Mercedes junior George Russell to be Hamilton’s teammate next year. The team has indicated that it will try to make a decision during the next summer.
Russell made his only appearance with Mercedes at Sakhir last year and came close to winning his debut race with the German team and during the Austrian GP Saturday he impressed by leading Williams for the first time to Q3 this season.
Bottas described as “obvious” that Mercedes has extended the contract with Hamilton and considered that soon it will be his turn to sit down to negotiate.
“I just realized that it’s July now, and the August break is only two races away after this,” Bottas said.
“So I’m sure we’ll have to discuss it soon, but not today or tomorrow.”
In case Bottas loses his seat with Mercedes for next year, the Finn appears to have limited options of where else to drive due to the nature of the driver market.
Alone Red Bull, AlphaTauri, Alfa Romeo y Williams They appear to have vacancies for next year, making Williams the only realistic option for the Finn to remain in Formula 1.
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12
Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images
Bottas said he would like to stay on the grid if he lost his seat with Mercedes, but would only look for alternative options if necessary.
“Obviously I want to understand the team, what is the plan, what driver they want in the other car,” said Bottas when asked about Motorsport.com if he was considering options like Williams’ for next year.
“Lewis is confirmed, the other seat is still free, so the team has to decide. I need to have that discussion.”
“But I also feel like I still have many, many years to go. I enjoy racing, I love racing, I love F1, so I am definitely not cut out to go to another style of competition within motorsport for years to come.” .
“If it were the case that I could not continue with Mercedes, of course I would look at other options. But it is not something I have to think about now.”
“I also have a good management team and they haven’t told me anything yet. I don’t know if they have contacted anyone, because they know how important it is to focus on this moment and do our best, as a team and for me personally. ”.
“The time will come soon. I don’t know yet what day, what week. But I think so, that we will have to analyze all the options and the situation as a whole. But for now, I focus on tomorrow.”