Valtteri Bottas says there will not be an announcement about his future this weekend at the Dutch Grand Prix, following the news of Kimi Raikkonen’s impending retirement.
On Wednesday evening Raikkonen confirmed this will be his final season in Formula 1, with the Alfa Romeo driver retiring to leave a vacancy at the Swiss-based team. RACER understands Bottas will be moving to Alfa Romeo while George Russell replaces him at Mercedes, but Bottas says it will be a few days until anything is confirmed about his future.
“Maybe I do (know), maybe I don’t, same as in Spa,” Bottas said. “Things are going in the right direction. I’m happy and excited.”
As to when an announcement might come, Bottas said: “Not this weekend.”
However, the Finn did drop a hint that he’s set for a new project and one that he can focus on for a number of seasons.
“A multi-year contract would be nice — that’s something I never had before in Formula 1. That way I definitively could give full commitment to the team, knowing that the work will continue. It needs to be challenging, it needs to be exciting, it needs to be fun, in an atmosphere I’d really enjoy working in. I think those are really the main things I’m looking forward. Like I said before, I still have quite a few years in Formula 1. I really want to continue in Formula 1, for sure.”
Bottas also paid tribute to Raikkonen after the announcement of his fellow Finn’s retirement, praising both his career and also the way he conducts himself on track.
“Like he said himself, nothing lasts forever. There’s always time to try something new and he had an impressive and long career in Formula 1, one of the longest if not the longest one of all.
“I’m sure he had an impact on me as a youngster, I was following him closely when he started in Formula 1; I was following his season when he won the world championship (2007 -Ed.) At that time I was doing my first season in single-seaters, in Formula Renault, when he won his title with Ferrari.
“He’s obviously a big star in Finland — he’s a bit of a legend, and he’s always been fun to watch. Also, it’s been nice to go racing with him, because he’s one of the drivers you can go racing with and you’re quite comfortable going wheel to wheel with; he’s always had good respect towards his competition and that’s the way I like racing too.”