Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2018

Mercedes confirm Bottas alongside Hamilton for 2019 season

2019 F1 season

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Valtteri Bottas will continue to drive for Mercedes next year, the team has announced.

Bottas has signed a new one-year deal with the team, with an option to continue in 2020. The news means Mercedes will have an unchanged driver line-up for next season.

“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,” said team principal Toto Wolff.

“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.”

Bottas, who joined the team from Williams at the beginning of last year, says he has made a “step forward” this season.

“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.

“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.”

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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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25 comments on “Mercedes confirm Bottas alongside Hamilton for 2019 season”

  1. Deserves it

  2. Mercedes keeping options open with one year deal.

  3. Given Mercedes got into F1 to make their brand less elderly and boring…could this news be any more boring?

  4. Good job Bottas. Congrats.

    1. Roger Renshaw
      20th July 2018, 11:58

      Pleased for Bottas. I like the way Mercedes have switched the announcements of the the two driver signings to make it appear that Hamilton didn’t have any influence on who his team mate would be.

  5. Now we just need RBR to confirm Ricciardo and we have the ultimate anti-climax for the silly season.

    Bottas justified his contract extension, no doubt about it, but just one year? Do they feel that Ocon is one year from being at the standard they need him to?

    Next year Bottas has to perform even better and wait for better luck if he wants to keep that seat

    1. @johnmilk
      Yep, nothing has happened has it!
      I wanted Dan Ric to move up but Bottas is my 2nd favourite driver so very happy for him, I hope he got a pay increase lol.

      The one year certainly keeps their options open with Ocon, but honestly Hamilton could drive until he is 40 or decide one day he is done, so they need to keep options open.

  6. Perhaps they feel their young driver George Russell may be ready in 2020.

    1. You may be overlooking Esteban Ocon there @johnrkh.

      1. whoops sorry EC.

  7. Expected.

  8. I’d rather Bottas in my car than Ocon, Perez, or definitely Russell at this point.

    Ricciardo was the only possible choice. That would be the most exciting line up in F1. Although I’m happy to see Ricciardo stay at RedBull, Ricciardo Verstappen is great to watch :)

    1. Well, Ocon would do great but Bottas is the secure choice. They probably want to avoid Lewis’ mind games like with Rosberg. Could harm Ocon and/or Lewis while having a Fin as team mate proves to deliver peace within the team (Same for Kimi)

  9. He definitely deserved to keep his seat after his performances this year. The points table might not reflect it, but if not for awful luck Valtteri could be leading the championship right now.

  10. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    20th July 2018, 12:46

    If Mercedes have given Botta a 1 year deal with an option to continue in 2020, doesn’t that imply Bottas likely will have at least another 2 years there if he wants to? Maybe the option meaning is just to allow him to go elsewhere if he wants. otherwise, the wording sounds like Bottas will likely be able to decide for himself to remain with the team in 2020 if he keeps up his good work.

    1. Bottas has signed a new one-year deal with the team, with an option to continue in 2020

      Yes, it seems like Bottas has official power to extend the contract by himself provided he satisfies the conditions in the contract (not sure what could they be. Above certain points by race xx, above certain rank by race xx).

      1. Why wouldn’t it also be that Merc will have the option to release him? There’s two sides to the negotiation table. I wonder if they might decide after next year that VB is not in their future and that for 2020 they may have to put alongside LH someone to ‘replace’ LH if LH chooses that two more years is all he’ll do anymore at Mercedes. I remain hopeful though that VB can take the gloves off at some point. Not convinced the points are in his favour to do that for this year though.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          20th July 2018, 19:50

          Bottas has signed a new one-year deal with the team, with an option to continue in 2020. The news means Mercedes will have an unchanged driver line-up for next season.

          I think this statement quite clearly explains something. Bottas (implying that it is himself who has done this) signed a 1 year deal with the team, with an option to continue (implying that it is his own option to continue) in 2020.

          If he keeps up there performance he’s had this year in 2019, (which Mercedes clearly are very happy with), then about the only likely reason that Bottas wouldn’t be racing for Mercedes in 2020 is if he wants to go elsewhere.

          I think I’ve seen you say you want to see Bottas take the gloves off an be more like Rosberg over 10 times now. I’m not sure how you don’t see the significant improvement he’s had this year. Many that didn’t think Bottas was looking that good have since changed their minds.

          But of course, you can have your own opinion and you don’t have to agree with me.

          1. @thegianthogweed “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 their plans for 2020 as well.”

            That to me sounds like it is Merc that has the option, pending his performance next year.

            All it is for me is that the LH/NR rivalry was tense and exciting, and I see none of that with VB. For sure there are good reasons for that this season, namely his bad luck and unreliability, but that is racing and that means that we will not likely be seeing a rivalry start at this point with the WDC fight going to LH and SV. Unless of course VB suddenly starts dominating those two, and he’ll need to do that starting this weekend if he’s to be in it this season. That would be ultra exciting. I’m just not expecting it.

            I don’t doubt that VB can drive well, and can improve with more time on the team too. But I don’t want him there just to support LH. I’m sure he doesn’t want to be there just to do that either. So this concept that it is all nicey nicey on the team with VB is one thing, but as I have said before that can’t last if VB is all that you are making him out to be. Driving better than he has, doing better this season, putting him leading the WDC if it weren’t for this and that is one thing…I want to see how he does when indeed the pressure is at it’s greatest, and when LH is not so nicey nicey because he is being bested. I hope we get to see it. We’ll have to see it to believe it though, no? Saying he has improved and is doing better this year just doesn’t give me that same buzz as when LH was being challenged on the team. Here’s hoping VB changes my mind on him, and quick.

  11. Expected news.
    Although, the length of contract is interesting. Mercedes again keeping a seat open for 2020. This will cause a headache for Ricciardo. He wanted a 2 or 3 year deal with whichever team he signed for. Knowing that a Merc seat is open in 2020, he may now be tempted to sign only for 1 year now. But that will reduce his bargaining power to get more money.

  12. Neil (@neilosjames)
    20th July 2018, 14:06

    Expected, and well deserved.

  13. Very good decision of Mercedes. Botttas is an excellent No. 2 driver, capable of winning races and scoring points for the constructors’ championship, without being a real threat to Hamilton, the deserved No. 1 driver of the team.

  14. He really stepped up his game this season compared to 2017, so this is well deserved. Ricci to Merc would’ve been more entertaining though

  15. Very surprised they didn’t try to poach Ricciardo. I’ve got a lot of time for Bottas, but would anyone argue that Ricciardo isn’t one of the top four drivers in F1 at the moment? Personally, I’d rate him as perhaps second only to Lewis, and given Lewis’ hints that he’s thinking about moving on sooner rather than later, I would have thought that signing Dan would have been a no-brainer. Lewis may have signed a two year, but I imagine he still has the option of pulling a Rosberg and packing it in after next year.
    Just sayin’

    1. I’d say hamilton has been all but the best driver this season, vettel did overall a better job, ricciardo did a better job, even bottas was close to hamilton.

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