German Grand Prix – The Mercedes Formula 1 team has retained Valtteri Bottas on a multi-year deal until the end of the 2020 season.
The day after Mercedes confirmed Lewis Hamilton would remain with the team, the reigning world champion team has announced that Bottas has had his contract extended to 2019, with an option for 2020.
Both Mercedes drivers will be out of contract on the eve of the 2021 regulation changes, which will follow up a new Concorde Agreement which expires at the end of 2020.
“It is great news that I will be racing for Mercedes in 2019 and it is nice to announce it here in Hockenheim – not just the home race for Mercedes but also the circuit where I took my first ever single-seater wins back in 2007,” Bottas said.
“This year, with a full winter of preparation, I have been able to make a good step forward – and I believe that there is still more to come. We have not been so lucky in the races this year but the team knows how I am performing, and this is a great sign of confidence in me and my driving.
“I enjoy working with the team, and also being team-mates with Lewis – we have a good relationship, honest and straightforward, and always aiming to get the right results for Mercedes.
“We have a big battle on our hands right now, so it’s good to have the future clear for everybody – it means we can have a full focus on the championship fight.
“Obviously, my goal is to keep performing at a high level – and to make it a no-brainer for the team when it comes to deciding their plans for 2020 as well.”
Bottas has missed out on two potential victories in China and Azerbaijan, and also suffered a mechanical failure in Austria, which has hurt his title challenge this season.
“Valtteri’s performances have been excellent this season and, if not for our mistakes and his misfortune, he could be leading the drivers’ championship at the moment,” said Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.
“When we took the decision in favour of Valtteri for 2019, it wasn’t just about his undoubted speed and work ethic, but also a question of character.
“His relationship with the team, including Lewis, is open and trusting, without any politics at all. Those are the ingredients you need when you’re fighting strong rivals in both championships and they mirror the values inside the team.
“I am very excited to keep Valtteri in the team and look forward to celebrating many more successes with him.”