Valtteri Bottas says smooth negotiations made his Formula 1 contract renewal with Mercedes for 2021 largely a “copy-paste” process.

Mercedes announced on Thursday that Bottas will remain with the team “until at least the end of 2021” having reached an agreement over a new deal ahead of the fifth race of the delayed 2020 F1 season.

Bottas made it clear during pre-season testing that he wanted to tie up an extension earlier in the year to avoid any potential distractions amid his bid to claim a maiden world title, and the Finn was pleased with the “straightforward” nature of the talks this time around.

“I think everything went pretty smoothly this time, but obviously we’re having special circumstances this year,” Bottas explained.

“We had basically agreed, before we knew how this season was going to be, that we’d hopefully something done by June. But we hadn’t even started racing before June, so we said, “let’s focus on the first few races and then, eventually, speak” and that was OK.

“There was nothing that tricky, we actually agree things pretty easy. There was no outside distraction either, so it was good. It definitely didn’t change my performance, in those first few races it was not in my mind, so it’s how it should be done.

“For sure it’s nice to know what I will do next year,” he added. “I wasn’t’ stressed about it, in any case, but it’s just that when it’s done it’s good because I can focus on the racing – that’s a good thing.”

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Bottas currently sits second in the drivers’ championship, 30 points behind Hamilton, after losing a comfortable second-place finish at Silverstone last weekend when he suffered a late puncture.

He had otherwise enjoyed a strong start to the season, winning the first race in Austria before following that up with second and third-place finishes at the next two events.

Asked if the contract had changed a lot from one year to the next, Bottas replied: “Not really, for me at least.

“It was pretty much copy-paste for many things. Obviously there were some things you might want to discuss but everything was very much straightforward.

“It was more work for the lawyers, to the people having to do the paperwork, and for me it was just putting my signature to it, so it was easy.”

Mercedes is yet to confirm whether Hamilton will remain with the team for next season, but the six-times world champion is widely expected to sign a new deal once talks get underway.

 

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