Valtteri Bottas ‘open minded’ about F1 future and reveals Mercedes contract talks haven’t yet started

VALTTERI BOTAS has remained coy on his Mercedes future by indicating his focus is on the current season.

Both Bottas, 31, and Lewis Hamilton, 36, have contracts with Mercedes that are due to expire at the end of 2021.

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Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton are into their fifth year as teammates at Mercedes

Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton are into their fifth year as teammates at Mercedes

Bottas says he is "open minded" about his future but enjoying life at Mercedes

Bottas says he is “open minded” about his future but enjoying life at Mercedes

Hamilton has hinted at staying with the German team for at least another year but Bottas is less willing to commit.

The Finn was asked if discussions over a contract had taken place but he looked to downplay the issue.

Bottas said: “We haven’t yet talked about anything, because this is a pretty demanding championship and we know how much it matters to be able to work in peace.

“When you can focus on the main thing, that is performance, but that time will come, for sure. It (contract talks) hasn’t come yet, but for sure time flies, especially as we’re soon going to go to triple headers.

“So I would imagine that, naturally, over the next month or so you need to start to speak and I know from previous experiences that the sooner you can sort things out, the better for everyone. It will come soon, but not yet.

“About my future, what are my thoughts? I’m quite open minded.

“Like in life in general, you need to always take opportunities and you just never know what is around the corner. And that’s also, having clear goals, what you’re pushing for and that has taken me this far.

“I always want to kind of follow my heart and follow my passion and I am still enjoying Formula One very much and racing at the front.

“I really, really love it and I still enjoy it as much as I did in example first year with Mercedes, no doubt.”

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Bottas hints at prolonging his stay with Mercedes but with George Russell’s Williams’ contract running out at the end of the year, Hamilton could have a new teammate.

Russell has recently been linked with a move to Mercedes and could sign a two-year deal to replace Bottas.

And Mercedes boss Toto Wolff reportedly has a total of four options to replace Bottas, should he leave.

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