Jun.18 (GMM) Valtteri Bottas and George Russell are giving little away at Paul Ricard amid swirling rumours about their future.
According to authoritative sources, Russell looks set to replace Bottas at Mercedes next year, with the Finn potentially returning to Williams or perhaps considering a move to Alfa Romeo.
“No one in the team has said I’m out for next year,” Bottas insisted ahead of the French GP.
The 31-year-old said silly-season rumours are normally little more than the media’s search for “clicks”.
“So far there have been no talks between Toto (Wolff) and me,” Bottas revealed. “They will come at some point but right now I’m concentrating on the triple header.
“I’m not allowing myself to think about it too much because that could distract me.”
When asked if he will want to stay in Formula 1 if Mercedes does let him go, Bottas answered: “To be honest, I haven’t given it much thought.
“Of course you can’t completely block it all out, but it’s the same questions and speculation every year.”
As for 23-year-old Russell, he said he was aware of the speculation but “at the moment I’m just enjoying driving”.
“It’s actually a little exciting to not know what the future holds,” the Williams driver added.
“The summer break should be a good time to sort out what happens next. That’s usually when decisions like this are made.
“But nothing has been decided yet – I’m still a Williams driver and I haven’t signed any other contracts.”
Meanwhile, after his mysteriously poor performance at Baku, Bottas will use a different chassis this weekend at Paul Ricard. Curiously, teammate Lewis Hamilton is switching to Bottas’ previous car.
“It’s not a new chassis, but it’s a different one,” Bottas clarified. “It was already planned to do that before this race.”