Bottas says he wants to extend contract earlier than last year

© Wolfgang Wilhelm for Daimler AG

Valtteri Bottas has been driving for Mercedes on a year-by-year basis since 2017. The Finn hopes his contract will be extended earlier than last year.

Mercedes announced Bottas’ 2020 contract extension in August, quite late into the 2019 season. The Finn’s current contract with the team expires at the end of 2020, so he hopes to agree on an extension earlier than last year.

“Is Toto [Wolff] here?” joked Bottas when reporters asked him about his contract status.

“It helps a lot to have a long contract. For sure if you know for many years ahead and if you are comfortable with the team.

“It’s only a win win situation. If a team wants you long term, if a driver is happy to be there. You know what’s happening in the future so you can only concentrate on the work and on the future and get along.

“There is no need for the team to hide anything from the driver etc. It’s always a good thing if it is long-term I believe, but it doesn’t always happen in Formula 1 as I have seen.

“Many drivers want to get seats and many teams wants to keep options open for different reasons. That’s how it goes.

“It’s a little bit early to talk about next year yet. I think it’s no secret that my contract ends at the end of this season.

“Naturally you want to start talking quite early on. At the same time at this point of the year, there is no point [to talk about an extension] really and this is too early. We are pretty busy focusing on our performance.

“We have a good relationship with Toto and everyone in the team so when its time, we can talk things openly.

“I’m sure we also both ways learned about last year. How we did [the contract extension announcement] and communicated it. I am sure it can be done a bit smoother and with less things happening around.

“It was a bit too much. It was better when we learnt earlier with the contract [in 2017]. If you have to drag it on until August, September, It kind of builds up and becomes more of a distraction.

“A couple of months earlier would make it a lot more simple because speculations only ramp up,” concluded the Finn.

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