Valtteri Bottas is open to becoming a rally driver, but regardless of whether Mercedes keep him he wants to stay in F1 for a few more years.
The Finn’s future is very much uncertain, with it looking more and more likely he will be replaced by George Russell at the end of the current season.
If he is indeed dropped, other options on the F1 grid for 2022 look scarce. But while he is not ruling out switching to rallying, he remains committed to staying in his current category.
“I don’t like to think that way. I always try to think positive,” he said when asked if he would consider rallying should there be no room in F1.
“I know what I want and I want to stay with the team. I think that’s the best chance for me to win races next year and fight for the title.
“If not for some reason, I will look at other options in F1 because I love F1, I enjoy it and I still think I have quite a good few years still ahead of me.
“Then? Never say never. Rally… I really enjoy it, it’s good fun. Whenever I’ve been in a rally car I’ve always been smiling, so it’s good fun. But to actually make a job out of it, it could be quite tricky.
“The guys there are pretty competitive, they have done it all their life. Never say never to anything but like I said, full focus on F1 and first of all, this weekend.”
The only spots that would perhaps be open for Bottas would be ones at teams lower down the grid such as Williams and Alfa Romeo.
He admits driving for them would require him to change his approach considerably.
“If you think about it that way, it’s all a really hypothetical way of thinking, but being really honest, yes, it would be a different kind of mindset,” he added.
“It would be a completely different chapter in the career and I think your mental approach would be different. Most likely, we wouldn’t be fighting for wins and titles so it would be a new project.
“On the other hand, that could be very interesting. But as I said before, you know what my intentions are – keeping my seat. We make a really strong team at Mercedes. Let’s see.”