Mercedes confirm Bottas for 2018

2018 F1 season

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

Bottas joined Mercedes at the end of last year following Nico Rosberg’s sudden retirement. Since arriving at the team Bottas has scored his first career win in Sochi and followed it up with a second at the Red Bull Ring.

“We gave Valtteri a big challenge this year,” said executive director Toto Wolff. “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. 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.”

Bottas will remain alongside Lewis Hamilton for his second year at the team. Hamilton’s current contract expires at the end of next season and Mercedes have not indicated the new deal for Bottas lasts beyond 2018.

Bottas said Mercedes “took a leap of faith by putting their trust in my skills” and his new contract “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.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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78 comments on “Mercedes confirm Bottas for 2018”

  1. In a single word:Expected & deserved by his driving so far.

    1. that was 7 words. :0)

      1. @mog oops :D

      2. I count eight.

    2. He deserves more than 1 year in my book, maybe Mercedes is excited about Ocon’s driving and what another year to decide who will partner with Hamilton after next season (yes, I think Hamilton will get a new contract).

  2. Great news and correct decision.

    He’s had the odd “blip” this season but the majority has been positive. And most importantly for the team, him and Lewis seem to get on.

    Now lets get Robert Kubica back on the grid!

  3. Well earned.
    I remember reading some comments about him being another Kovalinen, he has been so much better than that.

    Speaking of Kovalinen, when had he earned his extension from McLaren or was it a 2 year contract always?

    1. Was Kovalinen ever in the WCC leading car?

      1. @Robbie years later Kovalainen himself said that he wasn’t up to the car. It could be a WCC leading car if he did his job better, as Kimi wasn’t very good that season.

        1. So by that logic Kimi and Kovalainen’s performances cancelled each other out?

      2. Still think Mercedes were going to sign Alonso?

    2. Sumedh, looking back at reports from the time, it looks like the contract Heikki signed for 2008 included an option for the team to retain him in 2009 (so he did not automatically have the right to the seat for 2009, but he was McLaren’s preferred driver given they wanted to have the first chance to sign him for 2009).

  4. This is not an intelligent comment but I have to make it. I don’t like Wolff. I just don’t think he can be trusted. Call it a gut feeling…

    1. Well.. that’s why there are contracts ( to be broken;)

    2. @baron

      What has Wolff done to earn your distrust in him?
      Pushed out Brawne and Paddy?
      Somehow responsible for Rossberg suddenly giving up?

      Just a sneaky Austrian?
      sounds and looks like a T1000?

      I have no problem with Toto now that (I think) he has relinquished his financial interests in Williams. I always thought it was incestuous, especially with his wife and driver in the team, but there are many other incestuous relationships in F1 we don’t hear about.

      1. @9chris9

        lol, that was pretty funny – not sure if it was all true but very funny nonetheless:-)

        The T1000 comment was gold!!!

      2. Haha thanks for the laugh ! @9chris9

      3. Surely you mean the T-800!

        The T-1000 is the shape shifting crafty one……and I am pretty sure Bernie has that covered.

      4. Haha @9chris9 I thought Austrians and T1000’s were interchangeable, unless of course they’re powered by MG-K’s. No, it’s his eyebrows. They’re too close together and my mother always taught me to be wary of such a physical trait…

      5. @mach1

        Yes I meant the t-800


        Check Toto’s wiki page

        In 2012, he was named executive director of WilliamsF1

        I do think he is an honest and good guy, hope I didn’t cause any offence with the terminator gag.

      6. Not sure that “incestuous” is the correct word for the point that you are trying to make. You are suggesting that he has improper intimacy with his family. You probably mean nepotistic, which of course means that he uses his power to benefit family and friends. Toto seems to be an honest and straight forward guy.

      7. The T1000 was played by Robert Patrick. I think you mean the T800, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    3. @baron, Well you are not a real baron, so why should we trust you?

      1. Wait a tick…he’s not a real Baron?! I have to rethink all of his posts now. ;)

      2. @patrickl
        How do you know he’s not a real Baron?

        1. There can only be ONE!

  5. The best way to kick off F1 weekend!

  6. Well earned? Vettel shouldn’t be in with a shout if Bottas was doing better. Good news for Ferrari.

    1. I think the Vettel to Mercedes talks were simply so that Ferrari would up its offer or agree to Vettel’s one year extension preference and Mercedes could get Hamilton to speed up his contract negotiation process. Alas, neither worked.

      Another similar example in recent times was the whole talk in 2014 of Alonso to Mercedes. Again, Toto did nothing to quell this rumors, hoping to get Hamilton to reduce his price. It didn’t work then also. Alonso fell for it though and we all know what happened then.

      1. Vettel’s one year extension preference

        A fabrication (Toto?) that many just assumed was true. Marchionne confirmed that Vettel did not attempt to negotiate a single-year contract extension, it was only ever 2 or 3 years.

      2. @sumedh I took BigJoe’s comment to be about VB not being stronger this season because if he was SV would be further behind LH in the WDC standings.

        As to your stance on SV to Mercedes, or TW playing games to try to get others to do something…not buying it. That stuff was media driven, not TW driven.

        1. Ideally if Merc and Ferrari are going to be very close for the next few years then both teams need another top tier driver. Either driver from Red Bull or Alonso. If Red Bull get a package on par with the Merc, Bottas is mincemeat and Lewis has a bigger battle than even he probably relishes.

          1. @BigJoe Agreed.

      3. sumedh, I’m a bit confused about your comment about Wolff wanting Hamilton to lower his price for a contract for 2014 – when Hamilton moved to Mercedes, he agreed to a three year contract with them (i.e. 2013, 2014 and 2015), so he was already under contract with Mercedes for the following year.

        I’m pretty sure that it was in fact Rosberg who was renegotiating his contract at the time, as his contract was due to expire at the end of 2014. His salary demands were pretty demanding too – under the contract he signed in 2014, in 2015 he was actually paid more than Hamilton was (Hamilton being paid under the terms he struck back in 2012).

  7. It’s the safe option. Bottas is the ideal 2nd driver behind Lewis. Fast enough but no real competition. I’d love to see Alonso there.

    1. @anunaki I wouldn’t say he’s the ideal 2nd driver because Bottas certainly does not want to be #2 and will try to challenge Lewis.

      It’s also the fair option because Bottas has shown a lot of promise at Williams paired with Massa.

      This season he’s brought in nearly 200 points and we are under the 2/3s mark so he’s on target to score 300 points. Not too shabby for his 1st year at Mercedes.

      That’s a lot of points when you consider that Vettel during his best years at Red Bull was scoring 390 points with 19 races.

    2. It’s only a safe option if Merc can keep the decent gap they have between them and Ferrari and god forbid Red Bull then they’re in real trouble. Safe reliable Bottas IMO isn’t going to cut-it up against Riccairdo and Verstappen and they’ll give Lewis a battle he wont relish. I guess the experts arnt expecting Renault to make significant progress, they know what we fear, that these engine rules have crippled all but one.

  8. I remember back in 2007 when a Finn was third in the standings and surprised everyone with a championship victory in the last race. Actually, I think that Bottas might have a mathematically better chance now than Kimi did then. Stranger things have happened.

    1. I wished this Finn had the charisma of the 2007 Finn. Or at least of the 1998/9 Finn.

      1. Agreed — There is nothing about his racecraft or personality outside the car that makes me want to root for him. So vanilla.

  9. Makes sense. One of the best number 2s I’ve ever seen. No real threat to Lewis but does take points from Seb occasionally, plus he’s cool, calm and mature.

    1. Hah. pretty much a modern day David Coulthard.

      1. @damon – obviously you are not a fan mate?
        I have always liked Bottas- he is fast & intelligent, keeps calm and doesn’t have the ego a few drivers have.
        Maybe he needs to be a bit more aggressive rather than everything always being calculated and that may help him somewhat.

        1. @evilhomer
          A fan of whom/what and why?

  10. Great news but expected. I was hoping he may be closer to Hamilton this year and beating him a bit more than he has but really I think he has had a pretty solid year. Hope he can challenge a bit more next year and make Lewis a bit more uncomfortable.

    1. Why dies Lewis need discomfort? What about Seb at Ferrari?

  11. He is better than RAI, that’s the most important. If Ferrari gets Max then Merc should up their game as well, maybe get Ric/Ocon.

    1. Ferrari won’t have Vettel and Max at the same time. 0% chance in my opinion. If Verstappen joins, Vettel will leave.

  12. A very sensible decision from Mercedes and well deserved for Valtteri. He wasn’t given much hope, but he has performed really well this season given how late he joined the team and who his teammate is.

    I expect he will kick on and get stronger of the last few races and next season.

  13. You’re right – many didn’t give him much hope but he has done pretty well I think.
    Bottas is better than most give him credit for- he is up against Lewis Hamilton who is one of the best.
    Give another year and a bit more experience in a top car (Willy’s are no slouches but not top runners at the moment) and he could challenge for the title.

  14. Considering how late he joined the team and who his teammate is he’s done okay.
    Safe pair of hands for next year who can only get quicker since he’s getting to know the team better.

    But another one year contract tells me they’re waiting for Ricciardo or Verstappen to come available though.

  15. Great news. I like Valtteri a lot more now than I did like him when he was at Williams. He is definitely holding up his own and one can’t expect him to do any better when he is in a completely new car. The way the team works, procedures, learning about the car, etc it all takes time and he has definitely proved that he is quick. I am sure next year he will be even quicker than this year and will keep Lewis on his toes provided Lewis keeps his commitment level as high as he has this year.

  16. He’s a really good number 2 driver so I think Mercedes have made a great call here. I’m not sure who they could get who would be faster and more consistent without posing much of a threat to Lewis. The same applies to Kimi – he’s never going to beat Vettel over a season but he’s good enough to help in the constructors.

    If you go for someone faster than Bottas or Kimi, they’ll start taking too many points off the number 1s and as we’ve seen before, Seb and Lewis don’t play well with others if they pose a threat to them.

    1. ‘The same applies to Kimi – he’s never going to beat Vettel over a season but he’s good enough to help in the constructors’
      Sorry but i don’t agree with this, Kimi is not good enough to help in the constructors’ at the moment.

      1. Kimi is not helped by Ferrari who always prioritize Vettel’s strategy. This costs him more points than you probably think.

        1. @patrickl
          Kimi is not helped by being slower than Vettel. Getting passed by your teammate on track and being stuck behind a Force India for most of the race has absolutely nothing to do with strategy. In fact, thanks to Ferrari Kimi got 5th at Monza. If not for them he’d have been stuck behind the Force India for the rest of the race.
          Vettel on the other hand made short work of the cars he was supposed to overtake.

        2. I think that strategy choices have been a factor but 97 points gap is still a little too much. In my opinion he should not be fighting with DR for 4th.
          He should be comfortably ahead of him.

  17. It’s the only sound choice you would expect them to make. Calm, calculating, precise, fits them rather well. I’m hoping that those same qualities mean that he’s taking the time to study now to come out swinging with more punch next year. Then again I hope for a lot of things in F1 and rarely see them come about, but would be cool to see a bit of internal heat in the top teams again.

  18. Bottas has certainly earned another contract, IMO. As a late addition to a Mercedes team with Lewis Hamilton in it, he’s won two races and been on the podium 7 more times (out of 13 races, with 1 DNF) & reliably taken loads of points away from the Ferrari duo. I don’t think too much more could realistically expected from him (I’m sure he feels there’s plenty of room for improvement though, & rightfully so). So far, Spa has been the only time he’s seemed far off the pace on a Sunday so I’m willing to bet it’s an anomaly (silly mistake spinning behind the safety car in China, but nobody’s perfect).

  19. Just a one year contract? Seems a little bit lacking in faith if so, or are they eyeing up someone who’s contract is due to expire next year?

    1. You don’t give obvious number 2 drivers long term contract. Look at Webber and Kimi.

    2. Ofc. They are lacking in faith. If anything happens to the car or Lewis they need a really strong driver fast and cant have a multi year contract with a number 2 driver.

    3. The contracts of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo expire next year, so its obvious Ferrari and Mercedes are hoping to employ them. Mind you, Lewis Hamilton’s, Kimi Raikkonen’s, and Valtteri Bottas’ contracts expire next year as well. So there will be 5 drivers hoping to get one of 3 seats. I think there will be some unfulfilled expectations.

  20. Not the best driver choice, he’ll never consistently beat or match Hamilton like Rosberg did but its sensible decision to have a weak number 2. It keeps Hamilton happy and winning.

    1. That is a bit of an unreasonable comment. Saying he’ll never beat or even match Hamilton in the way that Rosberg did. It’s also unreasonable to call him weak. If Hamilton had had 1 more retirement than Bottas, then Hamilton would hardly be ahead of him at this moment in time. It was basically Hamilton’s retirement in 2016 that allowed Rosberg to win the championship. Bottas is to me looking more closer to Hamilton than Rosberg was in their early years. And also think about the fact Rosberg was already in the team before Hamilton joined so was used to it. Bottas isn’t exactly a massive gap away from Hamilton this season in terms of points and Mercedes hasn’t been dominating like they were in the last 3 seasons which makes it a much bigger challenge. If they still were dominating that now, and Bottas hadn’t had any retirements, he would probably be quite easily within a 25 point gap to Hamilton. And just Hamilton retiring once could have changed that. That would not be bad at all for his very first year with the team! And Bottas still has potential to improve. Rosberg took his time to beat Hamilton. Bottas may improve this year and even more next year which may change people’s view on him. Hamilton certainly is a fair bit better, but Bottas isn’t weak. If you average all their qualifying positions out, Hamilton has actually hardly been any better this season than Bottas. This is only statistics but it is an interesting fact. Bottas’s average qualifying position is 2.9 and Hamilton’s is 2.7. Hardly anything in it.

      1. @thegianthogweed I agree with the overall sentiment of your comment, Bottas has been very good this year and far stronger than Kimi. However for your comparison don’t forget Hamilton’s neck rest issues from 1st in Baku (13 point ‘loss’) need to be accounted for against Bottas’ retirement from 3rd in Spain (15 point ‘loss’), you can consider the current points position in the WDC as a ‘fair’ comparison between the two in 2017.

  21. Before they celebrate Monza win.
    Bottas: you first mate..
    Lewis: thanks dude..

    2017 Best teamate so far

  22. Great news that V B is staying on wiht MB. I hope Nico R. will give V B some winning tips so he can spank the Ham on the track…. Thanks, Racer Norriski

  23. ‘If you want your main man to win, hire a Finn’

  24. Great notice. Bottas is a very good driver. Perhaps some day he can win the championship.

  25. “Mercedes has decided to take #nofurtheraction”

  26. Deserved! I would love to see him give Lewis a challenge. I think he is a better racer than Nico.

  27. Great news and well deserved.

    Be really interesting if he celebrates by winning the next 3 races in a row. Then things would get really interesting from a WDC perspective.

    Everyone says he’s “just a number 2” and that Merc have only offered him 1 year to wait for a better option.

    Maybe it just Bottas playing it smart – in 12 months time he’ll have the option of joining ANY of the top three teams (or any other) after he’s taken next year to assess which one would be the best and most likely to present him with the best chance of a WDC. Underestimating him would be a mistake.

    1. If for whatever reason, Merc decide to let him go next year I could definitely see Bottas replacing another Finn in a certain Italian team.

  28. I don’t think any driver likes to be called “number 2”, people say that when they go to the toilet, i doubt Bottas will remain in Lewis shadow next season, the guy is clever and will get to Hamilton level next season, maybe he is playing dead for now.
    That being said, i do like the guy, he is very humble, serious and professional.

  29. Nice, humble above else blindingly quick.

    If he was quicker than Lewis, he would be the best driver to have.

    I hope someday he can beat all drama-kings and become world champion.

    We would all hope to see Alonso in #2 Mercedes. But, we fans are in a business of getting entertained. F1 team is in a business of winning at all cost. Having a certified source of drama and strife in your team is no go.

    I am fairly certain with Nico Rosberg in team, Mercedes situation would implode and Lewis would not be leading the championship.

    In that regard Bottas is better than say Alonso, Verstappen, whoomever else they might consider.

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