Bottas’ future remains in the spotlight with Russell likely to replace the Finn alongside Lewis Hamilton for next season.

Should Mercedes decide to move on from Bottas, his best bet at staying in F1 is a return to Williams or potentially replacing Kimi Raikkonen at Alfa Romeo.

Outside of F1, Bottas has shown a keen interest in rallying, having raced in the Arctic Lapland Rally every year since 2019 during the winter off-season.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix, Bottas remains focused on trying to secure a driver in F1 for next year, ideally with Mercedes.

“First of all I don’t like to think that way, I always try to think positive,” Bottas said. “I know what I want, I want to stay with the team, I think that’s the best chance for me to win races next year and fight for the title.  If for some reason I’m not there, I would look into other options in F1, because I love F1, I enjoy it and I think I still have quite a few good years ahead of me in here.  

“And then, never say never. Rallying? I don’t know, I really enjoyed it, I had good fun every time I was in a rally car, I had always a smile, it was good fun, but to make a job out of it, it could be quite tricky because the guys there are quite competitive. But, never say never to anything, like I said before, but first of all I’m fully focused on F1, and, for now, this weekend.”

Bottas admitted that the prospect of dropping down to a midfield team is “quite interesting” but conceded he would need to adjust his level of expectations given he will most likely not be challenging for regular victories or podiums as he has done for Mercedes since 2017.

“If you think about it that way, it’s all really hypothetical, but I’m going to be really honest,” Bottas added. “Yes, for sure it would be a different mindset, it would be a completely new kind of chapter in my career, so the mental approach should be quite different.

“Most likely I wouldn’t be fighting for wins and the title, at least in the beginning, so it would be a new beginning. On the other hand, it could be quite interesting, but, as I’ve said before, you know what my intent is, which is keeping my seat, because I think we really make a strong team now at Mercedes as we are, so let’s see.”