Valtteri Bottas has once again refused to rule out a possible return to Mercedes in F1 2025, but insisted that a “long term deal” remains his top priority.

Bottas is out of contract at the end of 2024, leaving his future in F1 unclear.

Audi look like they want to replace him with Carlos Sainz or one of the Alpine duo, leaving Bottas looking for a drive elsewhere.

The Finn has linked with a switch to Haas and Williams, while Mercedes remains a possible option.

Mercedes might be tempted in bringing Bottas back as a stop-gap option as they wait for Max Verstappen or if they feel Andrea Kimi Anontelli isn’t ready.

Speaking ahead of this Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Bottas was asked about a sensational return to Mercedes.

He responded: “I think at the moment everything is an option. But still, my preference is a long term deal.”

Since leaving Mercedes, Bottas has opened up into being one of the liveliest characters on the grid, particularly off-track.

Teams backed by engine manufacturers like Mercedes and Audi tend to be more corporate and rigid in how you have to behave.

However, Bottas seems to be willing to “compromise” to aid his chances of securing a top seat.

“I’m sure that would be the right compromise,” he added. “You know, I’ve been in the in the corporate world and I know that stuff. I can can deal with it. But the main thing is, like I mentioned earlier, my team needs to respect who I am, what I can deliver. But I’m sure always compromise can be found.”

Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Sauber C44. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Miami Grand Prix, Miami, Florida, USA, Sprint and

Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Sauber C44. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6,…

Bottas remains motivated to race in F1, citing the need for a long term contract.

That seems the rational response, when you’re in a situation that you are on the free market, let’s say, you’re always looking around,” he added. “So, for a while now it’s been different direction, not just one direction because you can’t rely on one option only. That’s how it goes. So. that doesn’t really change.

“Discussions have been going on for some time to different directions. Some progress is being made. I’m not just relying on one option for what factors are most important when considering long term because I wouldn’t get one year or several words just to just to be in F1 just to hang on that’s I need a long term project. with clear goals, and with respect for what I can do and deliver.

“That’s really the main thing. Obviously, the faster the car the better. But the main thing is to have that security for years ahead, but we can work together for the goals that we set.”