Valtteri Bottas admits that leaving Mercedes and moving to another team would require a different "mental approach" to his job as an F1 driver, and a reset of his ambitions.
Speculation is rife that Bottas will be replaced at the end of the 2021 season by Mercedes protégé George Russell as the Brackley squad banks on the future.
A change of environment for the Finn would entail a lot of changes, on both the sporting and mental front and open up a "new chapter" in the 31-year-old's career.
"It's all really hypothetical thinking, but I'm being really honest and yes for sure it would be a different kind of mindset," Bottas said at Silverstone recently.
"It would be completely a new kind of chapter in the career, and I think your mental approach is going to be different. Most likely I wouldn't be fighting for the wins and the title, at least in the beginning, so it would be a new project.
"On the other hand, that could be also very interesting, but as I said before, my intention is keeping my seat because I think we make a really strong team now at Mercedes as we are, so let's see."
Bottas reckons that he still has "quite a good few years" ahead of him in Formula 1, regardless of where events will take him next.
He therefore isn't contemplating a move to another motorsport series or category, such as rallying, in which he has indulged in the past.
"I know what I want," he said. "I want to stay with the team, I think that's the best chance for me to win races next year and fight for the title.
"For some reason if not, I would look at other options in Formula 1 of course, because I love Formula 1. I enjoy it, I still think I have quite a good few years ahead of me. And then, never say never.
"Rally, I really enjoy it, it's really good fun. Every time I've been in a rally car I've been always smiling, so it's good fun. But to actually make a job out of it, it could be quite tricky.
"The guys are pretty competitive, they've done it all their life. Never say never to anything, but at the moment, full focus in Formula 1."