Valtteri Bottas will remain at Mercedes for the 2021 Formula 1 season after agreeing new terms with with the reigning word champions.

The Finn has penned a fresh one-year deal to remain at Mercedes for a fifth consecutive season, following an impressive start to the delayed 2020 season.

Bottas currently sits second in the 2020 championship standings, 30 points behind teammate Lewis Hamilton after taking one victory and two podium finishes from the opening four rounds. 

Since the start of the year, Bottas had made it clear he was hoping to strike an early deal to avoid any potential distraction from his efforts to claim his maiden F1 title. 

In the past three seasons, Mercedes have waited until at least July to announce Bottas’ respective contract renewals, with the confirmations coming on September 13th in 2017, July 20th in 2018 and August 29th in 2019. 

"I'm very happy to stay with Mercedes in 2021 and build on the success we've enjoyed together already," said Bottas. "Thank you to everyone in the team and the wider Mercedes family for their continued support and their trust in me. I'm very proud to represent this great team and the three-pointed star on our journey together again next year.
 
"The past few years have been all about continuous improvement, working on every aspect of my performance. I'm confident that today I'm the strongest I've ever been, but I can always raise the bar. Mercedes embraces the same philosophy: They always want to get better and are always hungry for more.
 
"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.
 
"We're in the middle of a shortened season and I want to give my absolute best in every single race we'll go to this year. The puncture last weekend was a bit of a blow in my fight with Lewis, but I'm determined to come back strong this weekend on the same track."

Bottas’ deal will see Mercedes turn its attention to re-signing reigning six-times world champion Hamilton, whose current deal also expires at the end of the year.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff recently stressed the team was in no rush to announce its driver line-up for 2021, with Hamilton recently rubbishing reports that he was demanding a significant salary increase. 

"We are very excited that Valtteri will stay with the team for at least one more season," Wolff added. "We're seeing the strongest Valtteri we've ever seen this year - in terms of his on-track performance, but also physically and mentally. He is second in the championship, finished the last season in P2 and plays a very important part in our overall team performance.
 
"I'm confident that we have the strongest driver pairing in F1 today and signing Valtteri is an important first step in retaining this strength for the future. Valtteri is a hard-working, straightforward guy who has a good relationship with the entire team - including his team-mate, which is not a given when both drivers are fighting for the championship.
 
"I'm looking forward to seeing him continue to raise the bar together with us this year and in 2021."

Bottas’ extension and Hamilton’s impending renewal has closed one of the last-remaining competitive options for Sebastian Vettel, who is leaving Ferrari at the end of 2020. 

The four-times world champion has been heavily linked with the soon-to-be-rebranded Racing Point squad, despite the Silverstone-based squad having both Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll tied down to long-term contracts. 

 

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