Mercedes’ Bottas hopeful of 2021 F1 contract renewal

by Findlay Grant

Valtteri Bottas is hopeful he will be able to prove to his Mercedes-AMG Motorsport team that renewing his contract after this season would be a “no brainer”.

The Finnish driver, who has been part of the Brackley-based team since 2017, taking the seat of World Champion Nico Rosberg, has played his part in helping the team win three consecutive Constructors’ titles, although struggling to make his own mark in the Drivers’ standings.

Despite this, the 30-year-old has only been given one-year contracts, although was chosen over Esteban Ocon to be given the 2020 race seat; with the Frenchman being signed a two-year deal with the Renault F1 Team.

It is likely going to prove a challenge for Bottas if he wants to remain part of Mercedes for subsequent seasons, all the leading drivers’ contracts expiring at the end of the year, apart from Scuderia Ferrari‘s Charles Leclerc.

“That’s my aim, for sure. Because I do enjoy working with this team. So I try to do that for sure,” Bottas told Autosport.

“But I think it still could be interesting, even from my side, I’m also running out of contract next year.

“I’ll be keen to see if there’s any other opportunities and whatever. We’ll see next year and you never know what’s going to happen in six months time. Lots of things can happen, but it will be interesting.

“Obviously my aim is to make it a no-brainer decision for the team and hopefully more than one year on paper.”

Bottas admitted last year that he was finding it difficult to cope with the level of uncertainty associated last year with a one-year deal, while team boss Toto Wolff said they could do a “better” job to give him contract security.

He went on: “You do want to be in a good position as you can. “Now it’s time to perform well until, you know, all the talks start.

“It’s always part of F1 and normal in this sport, but I just need to keep doing what I’m doing now and keep enjoying it and getting those results,” he concluded.

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