Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2017

Bottas not talking to other teams about 2018

2018 F1 season

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Valtteri Bottas says he has not spoken to any other teams about joining them in 2018 despite not having a contract to drive for Mercedes next year.

Bottas, who scored his first career victory with Mercedes in Russia, said he doesn’t know when the team will decide on his future.

Baku City Circuit, 2017
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“The timeline is quite flexible,” he said. “But there’s no rush, really.”

“For sure discussions will be opened soon because, as a driver, at some point it’s always nice to know what you are going to do next year. But not much more than that really to say, it’s still early days.”

“For sure I’m keen to have a long-term relationship with Mercedes, that is my target, and that’s why every day I work hard and try to make the most out of every single situation and the race weekend.”

Bottas said it wasn’t unusual for him to face questions marks over his future at this stage in a season.

“I feel normal because every single year in Formula One for me I’ve always had the same situation,” he said. “I’ve had no idea at this point what’s going to be next year. For me it’s a normal situation.”

“I know some kind of plan, when they are planning to have things sorted, but that is between us. There is no rush.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 6 comments on “Bottas not talking to other teams about 2018”

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      22nd June 2017, 14:03

      I think Bottas has done enough to deserve to stay with the team. His qualifying pace has usually been very strong although whenever he’s been incredibly close to the pole time, it usually results in starting 3rd.

      The only time where he was well behind pole was last race out in Canada. Other than that, he wasn’t over 0.3 seconds off in any of the other races. At leased he managed a couple of poles in this time too. Hamilton seems to have been a bit up and down in qualifying. Either outstanding, ok, or really poor. Monaco and Russia both looked to be pretty poor for him. The Mercedes was easily capable of getting into Q3 and Hamilton failed to do this. Bottas was only 0.45 off pole, but in 3rd! In Russia Hamilton, seemed to be half a second of pole and about the same time off Bottas’s time too. No matter how many attempts he had, he just didn’t seem to be able to get control of the car and put a decent lap in. But it was pretty much the opposite way round in Canada. Hamilton beat Bottas by nearly 8 tenths. That is huge and Bottas made a mistake in both his runs but at leased he still managed to beat one of the Ferrari’s.

      In the races, Bottas has had one outstanding race, one poor one and the rest have been at leased reasonable. I think his qualifying pace is as good as Rosberg and while his race pace may not quite be as good as Rosbergs, I think he’s a much better team player which is now much more important than it was last year. He seems much more relaxed to accepting when he needs to do what the team tell him which i think is a good think. I think Bottas deserves another season and I see no reason why he can’t improve over this time. I think the 2016 Rosberg was a fair bit better than in 2013. So in a year or two, Bottas could become stronger and be equal or better than Rosberg and potentially become a world champion if Mercedes remain competitive. But I only think he’ll have this chance if he improves a little more and Hamilton has another slightly unlucky year like he did last year. So far, it is Bottas who’s having more of the bad luck. 15 points that Bottas has missed out on does make it look like he’s performed a fair bit worse than he has done.

      1. Fukobayashi (@)
        22nd June 2017, 14:44

        He has done enough on merit to deserve another contract imho. But he’s just not a very exciting character, or competitive. Of course that is exactly what the team wants i’d imagine.

    2. Bottas has done enough for another contract, but I am hopeful that they will sign Fernando, with maybe Bottas going to the other way to McLaren.

      1. It is interesting to see of the 20 drivers on the grid only 6 have contracts for next year, and only Red Bull Racing have two drivers contracted for next year. Neither Ferrari seat has anyone contracted for it. Another driver who has the potential to get the other Mercedes seat is Vettel. Of the top 4 drivers in the Drivers Championship only Lewis Hamilton has a contract for next year.
        If Valtteri can secure a few more wins at Mercedes then it will make it less likely that they will get another driver, but even if he fails to secure the other Mercedes seat that he could be in line for a Ferrari seat.

    3. This one is really difficult to predict. It needs to unfold itself. Depends on results of HAM and his own. Next to it, depending on what HAM wants to do on the long run. Mercedes can’t afford to not have a HAM level driver. Bottas clearly is no HAM, so bringing in an ace before HAM quits might be needed. ALO, VET and VER only ones at this level at this moment. OCO might get there soon. All others seem BOT level

    4. Bottas has done enough so far to earn his place. I could imagine Alonso replacing him, but then he can easilly get a seat in one of many Mercedes teams.

      If he continues to often beat Lewis, that will do his 2018 prospects no harm at all.

    Comments are closed.