Chris Soulsby  |    |   0  |  13 September 2017

Mercedes retains Valtteri Bottas for 2018 F1 season

Mercedes has confirmed that Valtteri Bottas will continue to drive for the team in 2018, alongside Lewis Hamilton.

Bottas was set to drive for Williams this year but was drafted in to drive for Mercedes in the wake of Nico Rosberg's unexpected retirement as World Champion.

In 13 races for Mercedes, the Finn has claimed two wins in Russia and Austria, along with seven further podiums. This has put him in third place in the Drivers' Championship, still within reaching distance of the lead with seven races remaining.

"I am honoured and proud to continue to work with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport in 2018 and to remain part of the Mercedes family," said Bottas, commenting on his new deal with the team.

"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," he added.

"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," the 28-year-old noted.

"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," he concluded. 

Mercedes' Toto Wolff also noted how Bottas has made an impact in 2017, and how he was the clear candidate for the drive next season: "His performances and his upward trajectory made it a no-brainer to continue for 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," he added.

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