Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas says he’s hoping to sign a long term contract earlier in the 2020 season, after only getting his current extension last August.
Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas is currently on a one year contract extension at Mercedes, having been made sweat through the first half of last season. While his 2018 extension came prior to mid-season, Bottas only signed to drive for Mercedes this year in August 2019.
With him being on another one year deal and young Mercedes driver George Russell angling for a promotion to the factory team from Williams, Bottas says he’s hopeful of another deal for 2021 and beyond.
“Is Toto [Wolff] here?” Bottas joked with reporters on the final day of the first pre-season test. “It helps a lot to have a long contract. For sure if you know for many years ahead and if you are comfortable with the team.”
“It’s only a win win situation. If a team wants you long term, if a driver is happy to be there. You know whats happening in the future so you can only concentrate on the work and on the future and get along. Things about the future, there is no need for the team to hide anything from the driver etc. Its always a good thing if it is long term I believe but it doesn’t always happen in Formula 1 as I have seen.”
“Many drivers wants to get seats and many teams wants to keep options open for different reasons.” Bottas acknowledged. “That’s how it goes. Its a little bit early to talk about next year yet. I think it’s no secret that my contract ends end of this season. Naturally you want to start talking quite early on. At the same time at this point of the year, there is no point really and this is too early. We are pretty busy focusing on our performance. We have a good relationship with Toto and everyone in the team so when its time, we can talk things openly.
Bottas was put under scrutiny in the media due to the delay in his contract announcement, and the Finn says both he and the team know it wasn’t the best way to go about confirming the continuation of their relationship.
“I’m sure we also both ways learned about last year.’ Bottas acknowledged. “How we did it and communicated it. I am sure it can be done a bit smoother and with less things happening around.”
“It was a bit too much. It was better when we learnt earlier with the contract last year. If you have to drag it on until August, September, It kind of builds up and becomes more of a distraction. A couple of months earlier would make it a lot more simple because speculations only ramp up.”