Mercedes extends contract with Valtteri Bottas for 2018
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News September 13, 2017 Updated: 11:01 PM
Today, Mercedes announced that they have extended their contract with driver Valtteri Bottas into 2018.
Bottas has been delivering for the team since he joined this year with a pair of poles and with his first career pole in Bahrain followed by his first career win at Sochi. He continued his success with a pole and win in Austria.
Team principal Toto Wolff said "We gave Valtteri a big challenge this year: joining the team at the eleventh hour, stepping up to the forefront of F1 and pairing with the sport's best driver as his team-mate," Wolff said. "With that in mind, his results have been probably even more impressive. "There have been ups and downs - more ups, fewer downs - and some great highlights like his two race wins in Russian and Austria. Overall, 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. The chemistry and dynamic between Valtteri and Lewis work and are what we need to take the fight to our competitors."
With such a successful year for the 28 year-old Finnish driver who said “I am honoured and proud to continue to work with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport in 2018 and to remain part of the Mercedes family. Together, we continue to grow stronger day by day, and by keeping up our hard work I believe the sky is the limit."
“Since joining the team in January, I’ve enjoyed every day working with them. The welcome and the support from every team member and all the fans has been invaluable. As a driver, I’ve been able to learn and grow massively, and we have already enjoyed some really good moments this season that I will never forget. I’ve been very impressed by the mentality, commitment and the team spirit this team holds. Partnering Lewis has also been really good, and I’m enjoying the respect we have and the will to push this team forward together.
“When the team hired me for the 2017 season, they took a leap of faith by putting their trust in my skills. This new contract for 2018 shows that I’ve earned that trust. I’m happy to have celebrated my first race wins in a Silver Arrow. However, there’s always room for improvement and I still have not shown my full potential. I will continue to work hard on and off the track, to further improve my driving, get even better results and show that putting their trust in me was the right decision. I want to thank all the board members, the people at the factories in Brackley and Brixworth as well as the race team and all the fans for their support and trust. It means a lot to me.”
Valteri Bottas previously drove for Williams Martini Racing alongside Felipe Massa before moving to Mercedes after the retirement of driver Nico Rosberg.
Bottas currently is 38 points and sits behind Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel in the driver's championship and three points between him and teammate Lewis Hamilton.