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Bottas to consider his other options

NEWS STORY
04/07/2021

As Lewis Hamilton agrees a new two-year deal with Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas admits that he is considering his options should the German team not retain him.

The customary 'announce' came with minimal fanfare on Saturday morning, shortly before the opening practice session; Lewis Hamilton has agreed a two-year extension to his current deal with Mercedes.

With that settled, all that remains is the identity of his teammate.

Since Nico Rosberg's shock retirement at the end of 2016, Valtteri Bottas has filled that role, and while many feel the team should be recruiting George Russell, Hamilton continues to sing the Finn's praises.

In recent years Bottas has been retained on a series of one-year extensions, and though pressure is mounting to put Russell in the second car - a move, it is felt, would drive Hamilton to push even harder - many feel the German team would be best served by maintaining the status quo.

Speaking to reporters in the wake of the 'announce' of Hamilton's new deal, Bottas admitted that whatever happens with Mercedes he intends to remain on the grid.

Asked when we might expect some news in terms of a new deal with Mercedes, Bottas replied: "I just realised that it's already July, and the August break is only two races away after this one.

"So I'm sure soon we have to discuss it," he added, "but not today or tomorrow.

"Obviously I want to get the understanding from the team," he continued, "what is the plan, which driver they want in the other car. Lewis is confirmed, the other is still free, so the team needs to decide. I need to have that discussion.

"But I also feel like I have many, many years still left in me. I enjoy racing, I love racing, I love F1," he insisted, "so it's definitely not done to go to another form of sport or motorsport in the coming years. If it was the case that I wouldn't continue with Mercedes, of course I would look at other options. But it's not something I need to think about now.

"I have a good management team, and they haven't told me anything yet. I don't know if they've been in touch with anyone, because they know how important it is to focus on at this current moment and delivering the best we can, as a team and for me personally.

"The time will be right soon. I don't know yet which day, which week. But I think, yes... we'll have to look at all the options and the situation as a whole. But for now, I focus on tomorrow."

"We always said we want to give it the next few races to gain more clarity," said team boss, Toto Wolff, when asked when an 'announce' might be expected.

"I'm happy with Valtteri's racing," he added, "in Austria (he) was really good and he needs to consolidate that.

"He's a known factor and in the same way we know the strengths and weaknesses of George.

"That decision is going to be made during the summer and the first discussion is going to be with George and with Valtteri. And then hopefully we are sorted before the end of the season."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Spielberg, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Oil Leak77, 04/07/2021 15:23

"They are going to have to stop someone else from getting Russell either way. Red Bull should sign him asap, iirc Perez only on 1 year deal."

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2. Posted by kenji, 04/07/2021 11:38

"I very much doubt that Wolff will contemplate replacing Bottas as Hamilton is struggling already and someone like Russell will give him a hard time. Hamilton runs from competition. He and Wollf need to have a handy and compliant wingman and Bottas fills that role admirably."

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3. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 04/07/2021 9:06

"Is George just to good for the second seat?"

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