Bottas will consider 'other options' in F1 in case of Mercedes exit


Valtteri Bottas says he would "look at other options" inside F1 rather than venture outside the sport should he lose his Mercedes seat to George Russell for 2022.

Mercedes announced on Saturday that seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton will remain with the Brackley squad until the end of 2023. But team boss Toto Wolff has yet to decide who will fill the team's second seat, with only Bottas and Russell up for consideration.

As a Mercedes protégé, the talented Williams charger is expected to find his way sooner or later to the German outfit, but Bottas' incumbent status coupled with Hamilton's likely personal support offer the Finn a strong chance of undertaking a sixth season with the championship winning team.

"I just realised that it's already July, and August break is only two races away after this one," Bottas said on Saturday as he commented on his future.

"So I'm sure soon we have to discuss [it] but not today or tomorrow."

Should Mercedes opt to entrust its car to Russell next season, Bottas' only realistic chance of remaining on the grid in 2022 would be Williams, where the Finn would replace the Briton.

But the 31-year-old is eager to sit down with Mercedes in the coming weeks to gauge his situation with the team before considering other options.

"Obviously I want to get the understanding from the team, what is the plan, which driver they want in the other car," Bottas said.

"Lewis is confirmed, the other is still free, so the team needs to decide. I need to have that discussion."

Regardless of the outcome of his talks, Bottas insists his passion for F1 is intact.

"I 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 done 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.

"And the time will be right soon. I don't know yet which day, which week. 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."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter