After a difficult start to the season that sees him occupy sixth place in the overall standings with just 47 points in six Grands Prix, Valtteri Bottas is already seeing his future in question. There is a rumor with no proven basis that Mercedes has already told the Finn that he will be leaving the stable at the end of the season, notably after a catastrophic performance in Baku. Especially since the promising George Russell, protected from the star brand, is at the end of his contract at Williamsâ ?? ¦

This decision by Mercedes, Bottas denies its existence, hammering also wanting to focus on the three upcoming races at Circuit Paul Ricard and the Red Bull Ring. “You know, with Toto we talk a lot, it’s normal for us,” he says. “And we also discussed recently. But I can not confirm that – at least no one told me that, in short: it is not true, these are rumors , and I’m sure there are all kinds of rumors that aren’t based on any facts. You know people try to make up stories just for clicks, that’s the way it is. “

Bottas insists that he still enjoys driving Formula 1 cars as much as ever. In addition, looking for a Plan B is not one of his current priorities. “I haven’t thought about it that much yet, actually,” he says. “Of course, you can’t always isolate yourself from rumors, and it’s the same every season: the same questions, the same speculations, it’s part of F1. So it’s a bit too much. early so I can answer that in detail. We haven’t really discussed anything with Mercedes about the contract, and it will come. “

The one who has only had one-year contracts since joining Brackley in 2017 adds: “I haven’t really let myself think too much [about starting negotiations with Mercedes], because it can become a distraction, I’ve learned [in the past]. It will come at a time. ” However, in the current state of things, it would be very difficult for Bottas to find a competitive seat if the star brand were to separate from him: the only doors that would remain open would eventually be Alfa Romeo and Williamsâ ?? ¦

In the meantime, Bottas will try to bounce back from this difficult start to the season, convinced that the best is yet to come. “If I think back to the last four years with the team, of course there have been ups and downs,” said the Nordic. “Overall I’m comfortable. The team is obviously very demanding with their drivers, which is expected, and I am very demanding with the team. what we want to do is win; that’s our goal in every race. And if we don’t win, it’s not comfortable for anyone, it makes us want to work even harder. “

“If I now think back to this start of the season, which is far from ideal for many reasons with great bad luck, it is never comfortable when you are not in the season that you would like to do. But you know, it’s like that. In life as in sports, there are always ups and downs. I know the ups and the good times are going to come, stable knows that too, and I feel well supported by the team, which makes it easier to manage. “

Bottas will drive in any case this weekend, at Circuit Paul Ricard, the chassis previously used by Lewis Hamilton, his teammate inheriting his in return â ???? a decision which is clearly not taken to find the key to the inexplicable lack of performance of the Finn in Baku. “It was always expected that I would change frames now,” he says.

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