Valtteri Bottas will chase another seat in Formula 1 rather than a switch to rallying if he is to lose his Mercedes seat at the end of this season.
Mercedes is set to choose between Bottas and Williams driver George Russell for next year; a decision that Toto Wolff has said is likely to be made over the summer break next month. While Bottas has shown potential in a rally car during the off-season in recent years, the Finn says his priority would be to find another team to race for in F1 if Mercedes decides to replace him.
“I know what I want, I want to stay with the team, I think that’s the best chance for me to win races next year and fight for the title,” Bottas said. “If for some reason I’m not there, I would look into other options in Formula 1, because I love Formula 1, I enjoy it and I think I still have quite a few good years ahead of me in here.
“And then, never say never. Rallying? I don’t know, I really enjoyed it, I had good fun every time I was in a rally car, I had always a smile, it was good fun, but to make a job out of it could be quite tricky, because the guys there are quite competitive. But never say never to anything, like I said before. But first of all I’m fully focused on Formula 1, and for now this weekend.”
While Bottas insists no talks have taken place regarding his future and there is no news as to what Mercedes will decide to do, he says his approach will have to change if he leaves the team.
“If you think about it that way – it’s all really hypothetical, but I’m going to be really honest – yes, for sure it would be a different mindset, it would be a completely new kind of chapter in my career, so the mental approach should be quite different,” he said.
“Most likely I wouldn’t be fighting for wins and the title, at least in the beginning, so it would be a new beginning. On the other hand, it could be quite interesting. But you know what my intent is, which is keeping my seat, because I think we really make a strong team now at Mercedes as we are, so let’s see.”