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"We haven't discussed anything," says Bottas of 2022 contract

NEWS STORY
17/06/2021

As speculation over his Mercedes future continues, Valtteri Bottas insists the talk is not based on facts.

While most are looking to seal their deals for 2022, some sections of the media continue to claim that Valtteri Bottas' 2021 seat is under threat.

While his two DNFs this season have not been his fault, for the most part his performances have been somewhat lacklustre. Indeed, at a time Red Bull finally appears to have found a supportive teammate for Max Verstappen, Mercedes finds itself lacking in terms of a strong second driver.

Though Mercedes was quick to dismiss a claim by the Daily Mail that Bottas will be dropped in favour of George Russell mid-season, as the Finn continues to disappoint more and more of the media is beginning to speculate on his future.

As the French Grand Prix weekend got underway, Bottas was asked about claims that he has already been told his services will not be required by Mercedes in 2022.

"With Toto, we speak often, that's normal for us," said the Finn, who is currently sixth in the driver standings. "And we've also spoken lately. That's normal.

"But that I can't confirm that, at least nobody told me about that, so that's not true, that's speculation," he added. "I'm sure there's all kinds of speculation that is not based on any facts, you know, people are trying to make up stories, just for the clicks, you know, that's how it goes.

"Obviously, you can't always block the noise that is around, and every season is the same thing," he continued. "Same questions and same speculation, that's part of the sport. So, I think it's a bit too early for me yet to answer that in detail.

"We haven't really yet discussed anything about contract with Mercedes, and that will come eventually. Now, it's just really the focus for this triple header, and we'll see that after maybe at some point, but not much more to say at this point."

Asked how confident he is of retaining his seat - teammate Lewis Hamilton having made no secret of his desire to keep him on board - Bottas said: "It depends how your season has been and depends on the overall situation of the team, if they are looking for other options or not at all. Some years has been earlier, some years later, so that's not like a norm.

"All I can say is that we just want to focus on the next three races," he continued. "It's going to require a lot from us as a team before we make any decisions together.

"My gut feeling at the moment, I haven't really allowed myself to think about that too much, because that can become a distraction, I've learned that. So it will come at some point. And so, for now the gut is not saying anything. I just want to win races and get the results that I'm aiming for personally."

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1. Posted by kenji, 18/06/2021 0:30

"I sometimes feel for Bottas, as another human being, being continuously judged for his performances by many who simply don't understand the complexities of F1 today and that includes team preferences and control. Winning in that team would be almost impossible for anyone outside of the GOAT. IMO he has never and will not ever get that chance of winning a WC so long as he stays there. If he can't achieve that target at MB then it is even further elusive at any other team It's a matter of Goodnight Irene."

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2. Posted by Steve W, 17/06/2021 20:36

"Because there's nothing to discuss?"

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