Valtteri Bottas says he is not looking to rush talks with Mercedes over his future with the team beyond the 2020 Formula 1 season ahead of a turbulent driver market for 2021.

Bottas will embark on his fourth season with Mercedes in 2020 after being handed a one-year contract extension back in August, but is set to face fierce competition to retain his seat.

The majority of drivers on the F1 grid are out of contract for 2021, including Bottas’s Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, Red Bull star Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, with interest said to be high in a move to the German marque.

But Bottas is staying calm about his future, saying that he is not looking to start any talks over the winter break.

“I haven’t really thought about it, and we’re not going to rush to sort anything before next season even starts,” Bottas said.

“I’ll still wait to see what’s out there, with this team first, so there’s really no stress to rush things. I’ll definitely have talks about it soon.”

Bottas predicted it would be an “interesting season” for driver movements, saying he could not recall “any other time with so many drivers’ contracts coming to an end at the same time”.

The Finn remains focused on retaining his seat with Mercedes despite possible openings at Red Bull and Ferrari, but is open-minded to whatever options arise.

“Of course all of us drivers are seeing what opportunities are out there, but if I would have to decide right now what would be my future in Formula 1, that would be a no-brainer: I would stay with this team,” Bottas said.

“I believe in the job we’re doing altogether and, with them, I’m becoming a better driver all the time.

“We’ll see how the next season starts, what opportunities will be available. There are many elements that have to come together.

“And at the same time, I want to keep my mind open regarding the future.”

 

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