The position of Valtteri Bottas, increasingly distant from confirmation in Mercedes, according to various speculations, and that of George Russell, every day closer to inheriting the Finn's seat, hold the spot in the drivers market.
For several years the native of King's Lynn has been racing 'accompanied' by the three-pointed star, which has supported his career since the minor formulas. However, the transfer to the 'first team' had never materialized yet.
These are all assumptions to be made in view of 2022, because Bottas is still linked to Mercedes by a contract.
In recent weeks, however, due to the difficulties of the Finn in this start of the season and the growing threat brought by Red Bull to the domination of Hamilton and Mercedes, rumors of Russell's arrival in Brackley in 2022 have multiplied.
"I think every year is different. It always depends on how your season has been and depends on your overall situation of the team if they are looking for other options or not at all," - Bottas told this morning to selected media - "So some years been earlier, some years later. So there's not like a norm. But yeah, all I can say that we just want to focus on the next three races. It's going to require a lot from us as a team before we make any decisions together."
The Finnish driver is focused on doing well during the next race at Paul Ricard, France, to recover some ground on his teammate, second in the world championship. He said he's not thinking about the market because it would be just a distraction.
"And my gut feeling at the moment, I haven't really allowed myself to think about that too much. Because that can become a distraction. I've learned that so it will come at some point. So for now, the gut is not saying anything. I just want to win races and get the results that I am aiming for personally."
Valtteri said that he's in a good relationship with his boss, Toto Wolff, that they always keep in touch, and he denied the rumors that are filling the air around the paddock during these last few days, about Russell replacing him during this season.
"With Toto, we speak often, that's normal for us. And we've also spoken lately, that's normal," he said.
"But that I can confirm that at least nobody told me about that! So, yeah, that's not true. That's speculation. And I'm sure there's all kinds of speculation that is not based on any facts. You know, people are trying to make up stories just for the clicks, you know, that's how it goes," the Finn stated.
Then he commented on whether he will extend his contract with Mercedes:
"I haven't really thought about it that deeply, honestly," - he said - "Obviously, you can't always block the noise that is around and every season is the same thing. And same questions and same speculation, that's part of the sport."
"So I think it's a bit too early for me yet to answer that in detail. We haven't really yet discussed anything about contract with Mercedes, and that will come eventually. And now it's really focus for this triple header. And we'll see that after maybe at some point, but yeah, not much more to say at this point."