We’re midway through the 2019 Formula 1 season and teams have already begun reshuffling and planning for next year. In turn, drivers have begun weighing their options too.
Take Valtteri Bottas for example. The Mercedes driver is currently in an indirect fight with Esteban Ocon for a 2020 seat alongside Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, and he’s already planning for the future, should the team decide to go with Ocon instead of him.
The Finnish driver told Autosport that he has to have at least one backup plan in place, should he find himself in need of a new team.
“Of course when you’re in that kind of situation and when you still want to race in F1, you need to have plan B, possibly plan C. So for sure I’ve been thinking about stuff and talking about stuff. It’s good to have different plans. So now we wait.”
Bottas also admits that he hasn’t enjoyed the pressure of not knowing where he will race next year and that in turn, it’s made him question how much risk he should take on the track.
“For sure it’s not easy, that’s the thing in this sport, finding the limit, calculating the risk just enough, pushing hard and trying to take the opportunities but not to f… up. That’s how it goes.”
“People think that some drivers perform better under pressure when things are on the limit, but for sure for me it doesn’t help.”
When asked whether he was nervous about losing his job, he replied: “Not really nervous. For sure it would be nice to hear some news when the team decides what they want to do. What can I do?”
From the outside looking in, we’re pretty sure that a driver as good as Bottas would quickly find another team should his contract not get picked up by Mercedes for 2020 – and to be fair, we understand why the German outfit might want to give Ocon a chance too, as he is one of the most talented young drivers in all of F1.