Bottas expects Mercedes contract talks to begin during summer break

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Valtteri Bottas expects contract talks to begin with Mercedes during the upcoming summer break with expectations the Finn will remain with the team in 2018.

Ushered in at the start of the year to replace retired world champion Nico Rosberg, Bottas was only given a single year so Mercedes could leave their options open for next season.

However, following a number of excellent performances including two wins, motorsport boss Toto Wolff recently said an extension was a "no-brainer" with merely the length of contract likely to be a sticking point.

“First we need to really speak about it before doing any announcement or make contracts,” Bottas claimed. “We are coming to the point where we are getting to the middle of the season and the August break will be here soon and normally discussions will start. You are not going to hear anything for the next few weeks for sure."
Asked what he hoped would be on the table, the 27-year-old added: “Like I said before the main target is for me to have a long relationship with the team, that is what I want.
"We will still have to wait a few more weeks and see how things go but that is my target.”

One driver with a potential vested interest is Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein, who was the only likely alternative to Bottas when the world champions were looking for a driver to replace Rosberg late last year.
After missing out, the young German found himself at Sauber for this season but claims he is unconcerned the Finn could close off a future seat for several more years.
"No, because I cannot influence such a decision, so worrying about things that you cannot influence is wasting your time and wasting your strength and efforts," he said.

"Valtteri is doing a good job and he deserves it."

That's not to say the former DTM champion is still wanting a future place at the Brackley-based team and he is confident his performances, including scoring the Swiss team's only points this year in Spain and Baku, are not going unseen.

"I think it gets noticed that I have scored points in cars that under normal circumstances don’t score points," the 22-year-old told the official Formula 1 website. "I don’t worry about that.

"My target is to one day be in a team where I can win races, get on the podium regularly and fight for championships."

He admits his situation for 2018  in uncertain, however, but refuses to be distracted by the 'silly season' talk.

"I have no idea what is happening next year," he said.

"Of course, I have heard all these rumours as well. But the same answer goes for this as for the previous question: I cannot influence any of these things, so why worry about them?

"Whatever rumours there are in the air, it is no distraction for me – that is the bottom line.

"I have a contract for this season so I am only focusing on this year – and the rest is a bit like the Valtteri thing: I cannot influence anything."