December 12, 2017

Valtteri Bottas says racing with no guarantees about his Formula 1 future feels “normal”, despite Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff suggesting the Finn was in an uncomfortable situation.

Bottas was signed as a late replacement for the retiring Nico Rosberg over the winter, but was only handed a one-year contract by Mercedes so it could better assess his form as he stepped up to a leading seat.

Speaking at the FIA Sport Conference in Geneva this week, Wolff suggested that the situation was not easy for Bottas because he was still effectively racing for his future.

But ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Bottas said he was not worried about his current contract status as it was similar to what he had experienced in previous years.

“I feel normal because every single year for me in F1, I have had the same situation,” said Russian Grand Prix winner Bottas.

“I’ve had no idea at this point what [his situation] is going to be next year, so for me it is a normal situation.

“I know some kind of plan when they are planning to have things sorted, but that is between us. There is no rush.”

But Bottas added he expected talks regarding his future to begin soon, as he is aware that if Mercedes did not keep him then he would need back-up options.

“I don’t know when I will know [for definite],” he continued.

“The timeline is quite flexible, but like I said there is no rush really.

“For sure the discussions will be opened soon, because as a driver at some point it is always nice to know what you will do next year.

“But it’s still a bit early days for that.

“For sure I am keen to have a long term relationship with Mercedes, that is my target, and that is why every day I work hard and try to make the most out of every single situation.”

When asked if, in light of the Mercedes situation, he had begun talks with other teams, he said: “No.”

AUTO SPORT