Valtteri Bottas’ post-2021 future at the Mercedes F1 Team is seriously in doubt, with Sir Lewis Hamilton already inking a contract extension and George Russell being strongly linked with a move to the Silver Arrows.
Bottas joined Mercedes following Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement from Formula 1 after he won the 2016 Championship, and the Finn has only been offered one-year deals throughout his tenure with the Brackley-based team.
Speaking this week, he opened up about constantly being on a one-year deal at Mercedes and therefore having little job security.
Specifically, he suggested that Mercedes could have saved him “a lot of unnecessary pressure” by offering him a multi-year contract – and he indicated that this pressure might have hurt his title chances.
“It’s just speculation and it’s just guesswork based on what I’m feeling right now, but it would certainly have saved a lot of energy and a lot of unnecessary pressure,” Bottas told Speedweek.
“Not just focusing on the moment, but knowing you’re with the team and can focus on next year and all the improvements you want to share with the team for the future.
“It would certainly have been a different piece of mind, but it’s just speculation,” he added.
In a separate interview, Bottas was asked if he believes he is a stronger option for Mercedes than Russell.
He shied away from directly answering the question, but said he believes he is a “good asset” for Mercedes.
“I don’t know any driver as well as I know myself and my driving skills, so it’s always hard to comment,” the Finnish driver replied.
“You never know with the performance of the other teams how they really are and against their team-mate it is quite tricky to know.
“But I’m confident to say I am a good asset for the team and it definitely would be different if I wasn’t here.
“I’m confident with my driving skills, but I don’t make the decisions. The future will show.”