70th Anniversary Grand Prix – Mercedes have confirmed they have signed Valtteri Bottas to drive for them in the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship.
It’s been suspected for several weeks now, but Mercedes have finally confirmed that Valtteri Bottas has been signed as one of their drivers for 2021. In a statement released on Thursday, the team said that Bottas will stay with them until ‘at least’ the end of 2021, implying that its a contract with an option on their side to continue for 2022.
Bottas joined Mercedes from Williams at the end of 2016 when Nico Rosberg abruptly retired from Formula 1 after winning the title, and has since won eight races. Next season will be his fifth consecutive year racing with the team, all of which have been alongside teammate Lewis Hamilton. The reigning Champion is yet to formally confirm he’s staying with Mercedes next season, but it’s not expected that he’s going anywhere and that discussions with Merc are merely based on the finer details.
“I’m very happy to stay with Mercedes in 2021 and build on the success we’ve enjoyed together already.” said Bottas. “Thank you to everyone in the team and the wider Mercedes family for their continued support and their trust in me. I’m very proud to represent this great team and the three-pointed star on our journey together again next year.”
Toto Wolff welcomed Bottas onboard for another year, saying: “We’re seeing the strongest Valtteri we’ve ever seen this year – in terms of his on-track performance, but also physically and mentally. He is second in the championship, finished the last season in P2 and plays a very important part in our overall team performance.”
“I’m confident that we have the strongest driver pairing in F1 today and signing Valtteri is an important first step in retaining this strength for the future. Valtteri is a hard-working, straightforward guy who has a good relationship with the entire team – including his team-mate, which is not a given when both drivers are fighting for the championship.”
Bottas says he’s been fighting every year to improve on his own performance, as he strives to match the level set by Hamilton, saying: “The past few years have been all about continuous improvement, working on every aspect of my performance. I’m confident that today I’m the strongest I’ve ever been, but I can always raise the bar. Mercedes embraces the same philosophy: They always want to get better and are always hungry for more.
“Ever since I fell in love with F1 as a kid it’s been my dream to one day become world champion. I’m in the fight for the title this year and staying with Mercedes puts me in the best possible position to compete for it next season as well.