Bottas: "Little bit early" to talk about Mercedes contract extension

22-02-2020 18:20
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
General
Bottas: Little bit early to talk about Mercedes contract extension

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas thinks it's still "a little bit early" to be discussing his future beyond 2020, although the Finn did hint it would be nice to have a longer contract so he would be more at ease.

Bottas has been on one-year deals ever since he first got signed for the 2017 season and is yet to be confirmed beyond the 2020 season. The 30-year-old, who enjoyed his best season to date in F1 last campaign winning four Grands Prix, has been the man to beat so far at winter testing as well.

He topped the timesheets on two of the three days of the first test, setting the fastest lap by some margin on Friday as he came close to his own pole-setting lap from 2019.

Mercedes have young talents in the pipeline like George Russell and Esteban Ocon to keep Bottas on his feet. Still, the seven-time Grand Prix winner backs himself as he explains the benefits a long-term deal would have for him.

“It’s only a win-win situation," he told FormulaSpy among other media when quizzed about a potential multi-year contract.

"If a team wants you long-term if a driver is happy to be there. You know what's happening in the future so you can only concentrate on the work and on the future and get along."

He did acknowledge the threat of said young talent in the Mercedes driver program and he understands the nature of his one-year deals, but Bottas denied being concerned at all about his drive beyond the upcoming season.

“Many drivers wants to get seats and many teams wants to keep options open for different reasons.

“That’s how it goes. It's a little bit early to talk about next year yet. I think it’s no secret that my contract ends end of this season. Naturally, you want to start talking quite early on. At the same time at this point of the year, there is no point really and this is too early. We are pretty busy focusing on our performance. We have a good relationship with Toto and everyone in the team so when its time, we can talk [about] things openly."

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