Mercedes will decide over the summer break whether to keep Bottas as Lewis Hamilton’s teammate for next year, or whether she will take on George Russell instead.
The team insist that no decision has been made yet, and Bottas is fully focused on convincing his bosses to hand him a new contract.
But if Mercedes go for Russell, Bottas has made it clear that he wants to stay in F1 rather than race in another category.
There has been speculation he could return to Team Williams, replacing Russell, with the Grove-based team enjoying improved performance under new owner Dorilton Capital.
However, high profile sources have revealed that he is a key target for the Alfa Romeo squad, which seems increasingly unlikely to hold Kimi Raikkonen beyond the end of this season.
Bottas would bring speed and experience to the team, as well as a decent profile as a winner of several grand prix.
While it is understood that discussions regarding a possible deal have not started, it is believed that there has been a brief contact regarding Bottas’ potential availability for 2022.
Sources suggest the door is not closed on a tie-up for next year, but nothing will move forward until Mercedes decides what it wants to do.
Alfa Romeo owner Finn Rausing and team principal Fred Vasseur are said to be in no rush to sort out the drivers for next year and have said they will wait until Mercedes and Red Bull have settled their rosters before moving on. make a call.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal, Alfa Romeo Racing, at the Team Principals press conference
Photo by: FIA Pool
Speaking at the British Grand Prix last weekend, Vasseur said: “We will see how the market evolves. I think, as usual, the system will fill the places at the top.
“It means Mercedes has to make a decision and then Red Bull has to make a decision. Then like a domino, at some point we will have opportunities on the table and we will make a decision at that point.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said Bottas continues to live up to his team, having played a role in helping Hamilton in the British Grand Prix last weekend.
“Valtteri has speed, Valtteri has character and Valtteri is a team player, which is very important in the dynamics of a team,” Wolff told Autosport.
“I think for the last few races he is very positive in his approach and it shows on the track.
“He could have been on pole [at Silverstone], if he had had the wake. And he finished the race a few seconds behind the leaders, so he’s right up there and I’m happy to see him.
When asked if the Hungarian GP was Bottas’ last chance to prove a point, Wolff said: -up.
“We’ll make a decision over the summer and then decide when to release it.”