The Mercedes team has extended the contract with Valtteri Bottas by one year, as expected, until the end of Formula One season 2017.
I feel honored and proud to continue my work with Mercedes 2018 and to remain part of the Mercedes family”, The 28-year-old Finnish explains on the occasion of the announcement.
“When the team committed me for the season 2017”, he continues, “they gave me a confidence boost by putting on my abilities. This new contract for 2018 shows that I have earned this trust.”Meanwhile, there had been rumors in the”Silly Season”that Bottas could be replaced by a major caliber such as Sebastian Vettel or Fernando Alonso. But the longer the season lasted, the more he cemented his high standing in the team leadership.
Bottas hit Mercedes at the beginning of 2017 as Nico Rosberg’s successor, and so far he started in 13-race silver arrows. He scored 197 points, which currently puts him in third place in the driver’s World Cup. Also on the Hablist: his first two Grand Prix victories (Russia, Austria) and his first two pole positions in Formula 1 (Bahrain, Austria). Bottas has entered nine podiums alone in the course of the season and thus as many as in his entire career before.
Wolff praises Bottas in the highest tones
“I am happy that I was able to celebrate my first two victories in a silver arrow,” he says. ” However, there is still room for improvement and I have not yet developed my full potential. I will continue to work hard on and off the track to further improve my driving skills, to get even better results and to show that it was the right decision, To trust me.”
Sports director Toto Wolff is also happy about the decision:”We have presented Valtteri with a great challenge this year. He only joined the team shortly before closing the gate, stepped into the spotlight of formula 1 and received the best driver in our sport as teammate. In view of this, his results are probably even more impressive.”
The Mercedes chemistry is right
“There were heights and depths –more heights than depths –and some great highlights like his first two victories in Russia and Austria. All in all, his achievements and his upward curve have made it really easy for us to continue to work with him, says the Austrian.
And further: “The respect and sporting spirit that has developed between our two drivers is an additional bonus for our team. The chemistry and dynamics between Valtteri and Lewis are right and that is exactly what we need to stand up to our competitors.”