Closing in on a new Mercedes contract, Valtteri Bottas says there is “no big panic or big rush” but he hopes it doesn’t drag on.
Joining Mercedes in 2017 to replace Nico Rosberg after his shock retirement, Bottas was handed a one-year deal.
That was renewed for 2018, again for 2019 and once again for 2020 with the Finn reportedly set for another renewal, likely to yet again be a one-year deal for 2021.
However, unlike last season when Bottas says protracted talks and constant rumours that he could be on his way took his focus off the championship, this year talks have already begun just two races into the campaign.
Added to that Bottas can be buoyed by Williams’ announcement that George Russell will remain with the Grove team for 2021 as that takes his main rival for the second Mercedes seat out of the equation.
“I will be staying with Williams for 2021,” Russell said on Thursday.
“I signed a three-year deal with Williams and I’ll be staying there for 2021 to build off last year and what this year hopefully turns out to be.”
With Sebastian Vettel, who is at a loose end after Ferrari decided not to renew his contract, believed to be closing in on an Aston Martin deal, Bottas says he is no hurry to re-sign with Mercedes.
Of course, though, he would like it done sooner rather than later.
“I can say that we have started talking about it,” Bottas explained.
“I think we all realise that time actually goes quick with these triple headers and pretty intense schedule for all of us.
“Obviously, nothing is signed yet and I think things are moving along in the right direction.
“The main thing as I said last weekend is to keep focused on the championship, big things to be achieved this year, so keep focus on that and I’m sure things will move on eventually.
“But of course, from the driver’s side if things drag on, its not nice, but we’ve only done two races so it’s OK, there’s no big panic or big rush.”
Bottas currently leads the 2020 World Championship standings by six points over Hamilton after the opening two rounds of the season in Austria.