Valtteri Bottas says that talks about renewing his Formula 1 contract with Mercedes for the 2021 season are “moving in the right direction”.

Mercedes is understood to have agreed a deal in principle with Bottas to keep him at the team for a fifth consecutive season, while his teammate and reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton is also expected to sign an extension to his current deal.

Williams confirmed on the eve of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix that it would be retaining both George Russell and Nicholas Latfifi to keep an unchanged driver line-up for 2021.

Russell had been linked with a possible switch to Mercedes for next season but the Briton is tied down to a three-year deal at the Grove-based outfit and deputy team principal Claire Williams was adamant he would see out the remainder of his deal.

Asked to provide an update on his situation, Bottas replied: “I can say that we have started talking about it.

“We realised time actually goes quickly with these triple-headers, it’s a pretty intense schedule for all of us.

"Obviously nothing is signed yet but things are moving in the right direction.

“The main thing, as I said last weekend, is to keep focus on the championship, there are some big things to be achieved this year. So, keep the focus on and I’m sure things will move on eventually.

"Of course, from the driver’s side, dragging on is not nice but we’ve only done two races, so it’s OK, there’s no big panic or rush.”

Bottas currently leads the 2020 world championship standings by six points over Hamilton after the opening two rounds of the season in Austria.

 

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