Valtteri Bottas recognised ahead of the French Grand Prix weekend that speculation was mounting about his Formula 1 future with Mercedes but denied anything had been decided.
The Finn has not scored a point from the last two races, although a blank in Monaco was due to the team being unable to remove a wheel, and has dropped to sixth overall in the standings with 47 points.
Seven-times world champion teammate Lewis Hamilton, second overall, has won three races and scored 54 points more than Bottas after six rounds.
“You can’t always block the noise that is around, and every season is the same thing, the same questions and the same speculation. It’s part of the sport,” Bottas told reporters ahead of the French Grand Prix.
“We haven’t really yet discussed anything about the contract with Mercedes, and that will come eventually,” he said, adding that he had not devoted much thought to any ‘Plan B’.
Bottas is out of contract at the end of the season and some media reports have suggested he had already been told it would not be extended, with Britain’s George Russell set to move from Williams.
The Finn said he spoke often with team boss and shareholder Toto Wolff but what had been reported was not true: “That’s speculation and I’m sure there is all kind of speculation that is not based on any facts,” he added. People are trying to make up stories just for the clicks. That’s how it goes.”
Asked what his ‘gut feeling’ was about his future, Bottas replied: “I haven’t really allowed myself to think about that too much because that can become a distraction. It will come at some point. So for now the gut is not saying anything.” (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) June 17, 2021