“It would certainly have saved a lot of energy”– Valtteri Bottas feels his time with Mercedes would have been better if he had multi-year contracts.
Mercedes hired Valtteri Bottas in 2017 to replace the outgoing Nico Rosberg, and since then, the Finn driver has served Mercedes for four years and is now in his fifth running season with them.
Despite the lengthy service, Bottas has only been given a one-year extension every time, and he claims it hurts his ambition of winning a championship.
2⃣ FASTEST LAPS
1⃣ POLE POSITION
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) August 6, 2021
“It’s just speculation and it’s just guesswork based on what I’m feeling right now, but it would certainly have saved a lot of energy and a lot of unnecessary pressure,” he told speedweek.com.
“Not just focusing on the moment, but knowing you’re with the team and can focus on next year and all the improvements you want to share with the team for the future.
“It would certainly have been a different piece of mind, but it’s just speculation,” he added. Though it is unlikely he may get another extension, with George Russell’s rumours to Mercedes are gaining momentum.
On the other hand, it is a rare justification, as even Lewis Hamilton for a considerable amount of time was receiving one-year extensions, except for this year, yet he went on to win the championships.
Better than George Russell? Hard to comment
Asked by ESPN whether Bottas considers himself a better driver than Russell, but he ends up giving a diplomatic answer and talks about knowing his driving craft only.
“I don’t know any driver as well as I know myself and my driving skills, so it’s always hard to comment. You never know with the performance of the other teams how they really are and against their team-mate, it is quite tricky to know.”
“But I’m confident to say I am a good asset for the team and it definitely would be different if I wasn’t here. I’m confident with my driving skills, but I don’t make the decisions.”