Bottas eyes Mercedes contract extension but admits he must "be open-minded"

14-01-2020 16:42
by Matt Gretton
F1 News
Bottas eyes Mercedes contract extension but admits he must be open-minded

Valtteri Bottas is hoping for another contract extension at Mercedes but says he must remain "open-minded" about the future in case his German team have other ideas about the future. Bottas will start his fourth Formula 1 season in a Silver Arrow when the actions starts in two months time. 

A second-place finish in the championship last season was his best result ever. The Finnish driver stormed out of the blocks with a maximum 26-point haul from the opening race. Bottas kept up with teammate Lewis Hamilton in the first six races before dropping off in the run-up to the summer break. 

Bottas himself admitted he needs to be more consistent with his performances, but he's confident he's getting better. That's one of the many reasons why he wants to remain a Mercedes driver. 

"Like every single other driver, I will look at all the possible options at the moment would be now if I would decide about my future for ’21. For me, it would be a no-brainer to continue with this team because I really enjoy it. We’re performing well all together and I’m learning a lot with them and becoming a better driver all the time. So that’s my thinking at the moment," Bottas is quoted by RaceFans.net. 

Keeping options open

Bottas is well aware a number of drivers would love to take his seat. Across the 2019 season, he had youngster Esteban Ocon breathing down his neck at the back of the garage poised to take over. But Bottas' performances meant that Toto Wolff's team didn't want to alter their line-up. Bottas knows he'll need to do the same again in 2020, but he's preparing in case the Mercedes team decide to make changes ahead of the 2021 rule and regulation overhaul. 

"Obviously we’ll see as next season starts and what the team is thinking for the future and so on. So there’s many elements, obviously, that have to have to come together. But at the same time, I need to keep my eyes open and be open-minded about the future," Bottas added.

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