Valtteri Bottas has signed a new one-year deal to stay with Mercedes for the 2018 Formula 1 world championship.

The Finnish driver became a late replacement to the retiring Nico Rosberg after the German’s shock decision to leave F1 just days after clinching his maiden world title at the end of 2016. Bottas has hit the ground running at the F1 world champions by clinching his first F1 wins in Russia and Austria as well as his first pole positions which came in Bahrain and Austria.

The Finnish driver has nine podiums in total so far in 2017, equalling his career podium haul in F1 before joining Mercedes, and sits third in the F1 world drivers’ championship.

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As a result, Bottas has been handed a one-year contract extension by Mercedes which he says as a key continuity move in order to build on his early success with the German manufacturer.

"I am honoured and proud to continue to work with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport in 2018 and to remain part of the Mercedes family,” Bottas said. “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."

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Good for Bottas. However it's evident that he gets only one year extension because some powers that be would like to see a driver of different nationality in a Merc, or possibly one with stronger sponsorship package. The opportunity is Valtteri's now to take the title (this year or more likely the next) and show he is indeed the fastest guy in the Merc garage, or anywhere. Because he will need it to stay in one of the top two or three teams, simply because of up and comers with better backing.

Perfect No 2 driver. He won't beat Lulu in a thousand years! Rosberg was much better.

So Wehrlein after 2 season of F1 will NOT be ready for the big show, and they just couldn't get one of the Red Bull Racing drivers. 
Seems Wehrlein's time in F1 is coming to an end. If he's not good enough to be Mercedes second driver, why would Williams want him? Force already chose the rookie(r) Ocon over him. Sauber needs a Ferrari PU discount and will likely take in Leclerc. He needs to do better against Ericsson to stand a chance at moving up to the real big show.