Valtteri Bottas has signed a new one-year deal to extend his spell with the Mercedes Formula 1 team into 2019, with a further one-year option for 2020. 

The announcement on Friday morning ahead of opening practice for the German Grand Prix follows Thursday’s confirmation that reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton had agreed a two-year contract extension to remain with the German manufacturer. 



Bottas joined Mercedes from Williams as Nico Rosberg’s replacement after the German announced his shock retirement just days after winning the 2016 title, and went on to take three wins as he finished third in the championship in his first season with the team. 

Along with Hamilton claiming the drivers’ crown, the Finn helped Mercedes seal its fourth successive constructors’ title following a close battle with rivals Ferrari last year, leading to a one-year contract extension this term. 

Bottas has continued his fine form into this season and has been unfortunate not to add to his tally of total career wins, most notably having suffered a dramatic puncture while leading April’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix with just three laps remaining. 

He outpaced and beat Hamilton in Bahrain, China and Canada, before claiming his fifth pole position for Mercedes in Austria, only for a hydraulic leak to bring a premature end to his race. 

"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," he added. "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."

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: "We are very pleased to extend Valtteri's contract with Mercedes for another season at least - and to be able to confirm an unchanged driver line-up for 2019, ahead of our home race in Hockenheim.

"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.

"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."

The news puts together another piece of the 2019 grid jigsaw with Bottas becoming the fourth driver confirmed for next season, while it also ends speculation linking Daniel Ricciardo with a move to Mercedes in the short-term at least. 

Ricciardo, who had been assessing his F1 future with potential openings at both Mercedes and Ferrari, is expected to remain with Red Bull as it enters a new engine partnership with Japanese power unit manufacturer Honda from next season. 


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