Bottas ‘had other options just in case’

Date published: August 29 2019

Valtteri Bottas thinks he is becoming a better driver with age.

Valtteri Bottas had “other options” on the table in case Mercedes decided to go with Esteban Ocon; they finally re-signed the Finn last weekend.

Bottas headed into his summer break not knowing where he would be in 2020.

Mercedes had an option to re-sign him that expired in July with the team not taking it up at the time.

That left Bottas wondering about his future, forcing the 30-year-old to examine all his options.

In the end Mercedes decided to keep him on for a fourth season, making the announcement in Belgium on Thursday.

“To be honest, going to the summer break, and in this sport you know once you’ve not signed, anything can happen in this sport,” he said during Thursday’s FIA press conference.

“Obviously always what comes, the driver decisions by the teams, there’s many different things that the teams look at and what kind of things make the difference between the choices, and obviously it was very openly spoken, the whole situation between me and Esteban and yeah, so I had to wait until last weekend.

“For sure it was… thinking about it and other options just in case, because obviously you never, in this sport, want to be left between two chairs.

“So for sure I was trying to make a plan for something else but then things started to go the right way and I saw that it’s just better to commit to this as it is, and it makes me, like I said, very happy to know about the future and don’t need to worry about that now. I can just really focus on the job.”

Asked which F1 teams he had spoken with, the Finn replied: “Unfortunately I can’t really say much. That kind of question is very private, obviously, all the conversations.

“I would never say the name of the team or person I’ve been talking to because I want to keep the trust and people can trust me so can’t say much but basically

“I was waiting first for Mercedes to decide and still knowing that other things could be possible if we wouldn’t continue but everything turned out good and I’m happy and the team is happy.

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