Mercedes signs Bottas for 2018 F1 season

Mercedes signs Bottas for 2018 F1 season”

Though Mercedes stalled on offering him a new deal this year, an extension for Bottas has always looked likely, with team boss Toto Wolff often repeating that it was a "no-brainer" he would be retained for another season.

The Finnish driver has exceeded expectations after stepping in as an emergency replacement for Nico Rosberg, who retired from Formula One days after winning last year's title.

The Finn has impressed since making the switch from Williams to the Silver Arrows at the end of 2017 to replace Nico Rosberg and now sits in third place in the World Championship standings after 13 races. While not fully out of the title tilt now, one can expect that Mercedes will be pushing for Hamilton to score the championship as the current points leader over Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

With Hamilton's current contract also running until 2018, Mercedes appears to be keeping their options open, with Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen also holding contracts which run until the end of next year.

Wednesday's announcement means that both drivers will race for Mercedes in 2018.

The Finn had already spent four years racing for Williams with a best finish of fourth in the 2014 F1 World Drivers' Championship.

Bottas, who sits third in the drivers' standings, added: "I am honoured and proud to continue to work with Mercedes in 2018 and to remain part of the Mercedes family".

"With that in mind, his results have been probably even more impressive. 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", Wolff said.

"The chemistry and dynamic between Valtteri and Lewis works and are what we need to take the fight to our competitors".

"I've been very impressed by the mentality, commitment and the team spirit this team holds".

Bottas, meanwhile, said he is "enjoying the respect" he has with Hamilton and their mutual "will to push this team forward together".

On top of his victories in Russian Federation and Austria, Bottas has scored seven further podiums in his 13 races for Mercedes so far this season, and now sits 41 points behind team-mate Hamilton in the drivers' championship.

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