Bottas signs new Mercedes deal for F1 2018

Valtteri Bottas will remain with Mercedes next season having concluded a new one-year deal.

Bottas, who raced with Williams from 2013-2016, joined the squad at the start of this year, after Nico Rosberg’s shock decision to retire in the wake of his success in winning the 2016 Drivers’ Championship.

Since his arrival at Mercedes, Bottas has put in some impressive performances, including winning in Russia and Austria, as well as taking podiums in seven other races. He is currently third in the Drivers’ Championship, 38 points behind Ferraris Sebastian Vettel and 41 points behind team-mate, Lewis Hamilton.

“I am honoured and proud to continue to work with Mercedes in 2018 and to remain part of the Mercedes family,” Bottas said.

“Together, we continue to grow stronger day by day, and by keeping up our hard work I believe the sky is the limit.

“Since joining the team in January, I’ve enjoyed every day working with them. The welcome and the support from every team member and all the fans has been invaluable.

“As a driver, I’ve been able to learn and grow massively, and we have already enjoyed some really good moments this season that I will never forget.

“I’ve been very impressed by the mentality, commitment and the team spirit this team holds. Partnering Lewis has also been really good, and I’m enjoying the respect we have and the will to push this team forward together.”

Bottas also added that he feels the extension shows he has delivered for the team, although he believes there is more to come.

“When the team hired me for the 2017 season, they took a leap of faith by putting their trust in my skills,” he continued.

“This new contract for 2018 shows that I’ve earned that trust. I’m happy to have celebrated my first race wins in a Silver Arrow. However, there’s always room for improvement and I still have not shown my full potential.

“I will continue to work hard on and off the track, to further improve my driving, get even better results and show that putting their trust in me was the right decision

“I want to thank all the board members, the people at the factories in Brackley and Brixworth as well as the race team and all the fans for their support and trust. It means a lot to me.”

Meanwhile, team boss Toto Wolff described the decision to keep Bottas for another year as ‘a no-brainer’.

“We gave Valtteri a big challenge this year: joining the team at the eleventh hour, stepping up to the forefront of F1 and pairing with the sport’s best driver as his team-mate. With that in mind, his results have been probably even more impressive,” Wolff explained.

“There have been ups and downs – more ups, fewer downs – and some great highlights like his two race wins in Russian and Austria. Overall, the balance of his performances and his upward trajectory made it a no-brainer for us to continue with him into 2018.

“For our team, the bonus factors are the respect and sportsmanship that have grown between our two drivers. The chemistry and dynamic between Valtteri and Lewis work and are what we need to take the fight to our competitors.”

The announcement by Mercedes means all three of the top teams in the sport have now finalised their drivers for next year, with Ferrari – as confirmed before and during the Belgian GP weekend – and Red Bull, just like Mercedes, opting for an unchanged line-up.

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