Unlike last year when contract talks threw him off his game, Valtteri Bottas says this year’s didn’t “hurt” his performance in any way.
Mercedes announced on Thursday that Bottas would remain with the team for the 2021 championship, spending a five season with the Brackley squad.
The announcement did not come as a surprise with Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff saying several times that he is happy with the team’s current line up of Bottas and Lewis Hamilton.
The confirmation, though, would have come as a bit of a relief to Bottas who last season said he felt the protracted talks and ever-present rumours about his future had distracted him.
“I think everything went pretty smooth this time,” Bottas told Motorsport.com.
“Obviously it’s special circumstances, and agreed before we knew how the season was going to be that we would hopefully get something done by, let’s say, June. But of course we didn’t race even before June.
“We just said let’s wait and see, let’s focus on the first few races and eventually speak, then it just came pretty naturally.
“[It] was not that tricky. We could agree things pretty easy and smoothly.
“There was no outside distraction either. It was good, definitely didn’t hurt my performance at any of these first few races. It was not on my mind. That’s how it should be done.”
The 30-year-old’s latest deal is once again a one-year option, although Wolff did state in the official press release that Bottas “will stay with the team for at least one more season”.
The future is secured, so now I can just focus on racing. Time to do the talking on track. Thank you everyone at @MercedesAMGF1, fans, friends and family for your trust and support. Let’s go!! 👊#VB77 #F1 #BritishGP #NeverGiveUp
📸 Etherington pic.twitter.com/L3aJkhpyQJ
— Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) August 6, 2020
The Finn called his new deal a “copy and paste” of his previous contracts.
“For me at least, it was pretty much copy and paste with many things,” he said.
“There are always some things you might discuss, but everything was really straightforward.
“I’m sure it’s more difficult for the lawyers and the people having to do the paperwork. I just do my signature. For me it’s easy!”
Bottas is currently second in the Drivers’ Championship, trailing his team-mate Hamilton by 30 points after a tyre failure late in last Sunday’s British Grand Prix robbed him of a podium finish.
The Finn won the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, following that up with a P2 at the Styrian race and a P3 at the Hungaroring.