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Bottas admits: 'One-year contracts at Mercedes affected me negatively'

Bottas admits: 'One-year contracts at Mercedes affected me negatively'

12-11-2021 10:38 Last update: 12:39


Valtteri Bottas has only had one-year contracts in his Formula One career at Mercedes. The Finn now admits that this has probably affected him more negatively than he first thought. He is happy with the confidence Alfa Romeo has in him for several years.

"It probably had a bigger effect on me than I thought it would, because once everything was done, and I knew what I'm going to do for the next few years, I just felt a bit more like freedom and less pressure in a way", Bottas tells Motorsport.com. "That's the feeling, and it's something I've never had before: that I know that actually I can focus on to something with a team."

Bottas is now driving his fifth season for Mercedes and has only been offered one-year contracts there. "Normally it's after like six months that I need to fight for my seat. Everyone is individual in how they cope with pressure, and which kind of pressure and which kind of length of the pressure. But for me, five years in that similar situation, of never being able to think further than six months, it doesn't work. It was definitely easier in the beginning, even though there were always discussions pretty much every year, like who's going to be in the seats, which is a distraction."

Bottas spoke to Wolff

"“Don't forget it was a pretty similar thing for me with Williams more or less: it was always options in the contract one year. Now it's been basically almost nine years of not being able to think long term and what was long term", the Finn continues. The driver is therefore looking forward to his time at Alfa Romeo, where he has signed a multi-year contract.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff made the comment earlier that the pressure makes for strong drivers. Bottas responds: “I think I said to him: ‘yes for a certain amount of time it's good. It can be good. But for nine years?'”

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