Valtteri Bottas hit back at the speculation swirling in the F1 paddock about his future, insisting that the current stories making the rounds were "not based on any facts".
As the 2021 season unfolds, rumors are ramping up about Bottas' fate at Mercedes, with many pundits believing that the 31-year-old's days are numbered with the Brackley squad and that he will be replaced in 2022 by George Russell.
One report even went as far as to suggest that Bottas had already been informed by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff that he no longer figured in the German's outfit's future plans, a story that the Finn denied.
"You know, with Toto, we speak often, that’s normal for us," he said ahead of this weekend's French Grand Prix.
"And we’ve also spoken lately. That’s normal. But that I can’t confirm that, at least nobody told me about that, so yeah that’s not true, that’s speculation.
"I’m sure there’s all kinds of speculation that is not based on any facts, you know, people are trying to make up stories, just for the clicks, you know, that’s how it goes."
Both Bottas and Mercedes have publicly expressed their desire to reach a decision regarding the future sooner rather than later. But for now, the Finn's focus is on F1's upcoming triple-header.
"Obviously, you can’t always block the noise that is around, and it’s every season is the same thing,” he said. "And same questions and same speculation, that’s part of the sport.
"So, I think it’s a bit too early for me yet to answer that in detail.
"We haven’t really yet discussed anything about contract with Mercedes, and that will come eventually.
"And now, it’s just really the focus for this triple header, and we’ll see that after maybe at some point, but not much more to say at this point."
Pressed about how he anticipated the outcome of the talks, Bottas siad his "gut feeling" wasn't "saying anything".
"My gut feeling at the moment, I haven't really allowed myself to think about that too much, because that can become a distraction, I've learned that," he said.
"So it will come at some point. And so, for now the gut is not saying anything. I just want to win races and get the results that I'm aiming for personally."
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