Bottas on 2021 Mercedes contract talks: Less speculation and more years!

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Valtteri Bottas says there are two things he wants from upcoming contract talks with Mercedes this year, less speculation and more years!

The Finn is entering his fourth year with the Brackley-based team after it was decided to continue with him than promote now-Renault driver Esteban Ocon for this season.

But during the process of deciding between the two drivers last summer, Bottas' form did slump, notably crashing out in Germany and having another poor race two weeks later in Hungary.

And avoiding a repeat of that situation again in 2020 is Valtteri's main wish.

“For sure I learned things and the team also said they learned about how we handled [the 2019 talks]… and how we communicated it,” Bottas said via during winter testing.

“I'm sure it can be done a bit smoother and with less things happening around [it], less headlines.

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“[There] was a bit too much unnecessary talk outside the team,” he added. “Everything should have just been kept internal. I think it makes things easier.

"And for sure we learnt that when the decisions were made earlier last year, it was better. If you have to drag it on for August, September, it kind of builds up and becomes more of a distraction… because all of the speculation ramps up."

At the same time, Bottas admits it would be much more preferable to move away from the current 1+1 year contract model and have greater seat security.

“Is Toto [Wolff] here? It helps a lot to have a long contract!" he emphasised with a smile.

“It's no secret that my contract ends [at the] end of this season. For sure, if you know [what you're doing] for many years ahead and obviously, if you're comfortable in the team, it's only a win-win situation.


"If the team wants you long-term, if the driver is happy to be there, you know what's happening in the future, so you can concentrate on the work and on the future... There's no need for the team to hide anything from the driver.

“So it's always a good thing if it's long-term, I believe, but it doesn't always happen in Formula 1, as I've seen. It's a political sport and there's many drivers wanting to get seats, and many teams want to keep options open for different reasons, and that's how it goes.”