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Valtteri Bottas

Bottas not ready to explore options outside of F1 if Mercedes drop him

Speculation continues over whether Valtteri Bottas will retain his seat at Mercedes in 2022 but, should he lose his seat, the Finn is determined to stay in Formula 1 rather than moving to another category.

Bottas Austria
To news overview © Mercedes

Valtteri Bottas says he is not ready to walk away from Formula 1 if he loses his seat with Mercedes in 2022.

The Finn remains in the dark about his future with the Silver Arrows. One spot remains for next year following confirmation that Lewis Hamilton will stay with the team in 2022 and 2023, and there has been much speculation linking George Russell with a move to the outfit from Williams.

But when it comes to assessing his options should he not be retained by Mercedes, Bottas wants to stay in F1 rather than explore opportunities in other racing categories.

"Obviously I want to get the understanding from the team, what is the plan, which driver they want in the other car," Bottas told RacingNews365.com and other select media.

"Lewis is confirmed, the other is still free, so the team needs to decide. I need to have that discussion. But I also feel like I have many, many years still left in me. I enjoy racing, I love racing, I love F1, so it's definitely not time to go to another form of sport or motorsport in the coming years.

"If that was the case that I wouldn't continue with Mercedes, of course I would look at other options. But it's not something I need to think about now.

"I also have a good management team, and they haven't told me anything yet. I don't know if they've been in touch with anyone, because they know how important it is to focus on at this current moment and delivering the best we can, as a team and for me personally."

Bottas is hopeful that discussions about his future can begin reasonably soon.

"The time will be right soon. I don't know yet which day, which week," the Finn - who has raced for Mercedes since 2017 - explained. "But I think yes, we'll have to look at all the options and the situation as a whole. But for now, I focus on tomorrow."

Bottas currently sits in fifth place in the Drivers' World Championship with 74 points.

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