Valtteri Bottas has signed a new contract with Mercedes for 2021. Lewis Hamilton has yet to extend his deal but if, as expected, he does so the pair will be teammates for the fifth consecutive year. Mercedes have won the constructors’ championship every season since Bottas joined but the Finn has not decisively challenged Hamilton for the title.
Mercedes announced the deal before this weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone. Bottas joined the team for the 2017 season, replacing Nico Rosberg who retired after becoming world champion. The 30-year-old has won eight races since and currently trails Hamilton by 30 points in the drivers’ standings after failing to score at last week’s British GP because of a puncture late in the race.
“The past few years have been all about continuous improvement, working on every aspect of my performance,” Bottas said. “I’m confident that today I’m the strongest I’ve ever been, but I can always raise the bar. 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.”
The Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, said Bottas’s friendly relationship with Hamilton was an important factor in retaining the driver. “I’m confident we have the strongest driver pairing in F1 today and signing Valtteri is an important first step in retaining this strength for the future,” Wolff said. “Valtteri is a hard-working, straightforward guy who has a good relationship with the entire team – including his teammate, which is not a given when both drivers are fighting for the championship.”
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