Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2019

Mercedes confirm fourth season for Bottas in 2020

2020 F1 season

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Valtteri Bottas will continue to drive for Mercedes in 2020, the team has announced.

Mercedes has chosen to continue with Bottas instead of elevating reserve driver Esteban Ocon, who was being considered for a promotion.

“I am very happy and proud to be part of the team for a fourth season and wish to thank every team member and the board of Mercedes for their trust and belief in me,” said Bottas.

“My performances have been getting better and better each year, and this is a great way to kick start the second half of 2019.

“My overall target is to become Formula 1 world champion. I believe that on paper, and from my experience with the team, Mercedes is the best option for me to achieve that goal in 2020.

“We have nine races to go this season and I am determined to keep improving at every one of them. Now, all my thoughts are on Spa and delivering a strong performance with the team this weekend.”

The decision means Bottas will remain at the team for a fourth season. He originally joined them in 2017, when Mercedes needed a short-notice replacement for Nico Rosberg, who unexpectedly retired from the sport after winning the world championship.

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Bottas will continue as team mate to Lewis Hamilton, who will go into the final year of his current Mercedes contract next year.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said the team had “set Valtteri the challenge of coming back even stronger than we saw him in the first part of 2018”.

“He has achieved that, with some really impressive performances in the early races this year.”

Wolff described Bottas as “an integral part of our championship success in the past two seasons.”

“His teamwork with Lewis has been exemplary and he has shown real strength of character in how he has responded to setbacks,” Wolff added. “I’m delighted that he will stay with the team for another season at least – and look forward to seeing him raise the bar even further.”

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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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49 comments on “Mercedes confirm fourth season for Bottas in 2020”

  1. Lewis is so scared of Ocon

  2. So Ocon is has been cut off and free to go to other teams?

    1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      29th August 2019, 11:07

      Renault if all the rumours are true.

      1. yes, that certainly would be a bad news for Hulkenberg.

        1. And for Ricciardo, as these two will crash into each other.

          1. Bad news specially for Ocon. Down the ladder to Renault.

            Ricciardo should be aware of hard racing his teamate next year. Just ask Perez about It (or Verstappen…)

            If Hulkenberg goes Haas then he’s loosing nothing. Unless Renault gains 1.5 sec during the winter.

  3. Sensible if a bit boring from Mercedes.

    Bottas seems to be very track-specific, great on tracks he likes and mediocre on the others, which means he’s no chance of a WDC while he is teamed up with Hamilton unless there are some unusual circumstances.

  4. Good decision. Keeps Hamilton happy and if the rumours are true Ocon will get a year in Renault where he’ll be up against a well regarded race winner.

    1. Wingman Pussycat!

    2. @trido exactly. Ocon wouldn’t accept being a number 2, which would pose problems to Lewis.

  5. This was the only sensible decision. Bottas is quick, knows the team and gets on well with Lewis, what isn’t there to like. If the Renault rumours are true, Ocon should now get the chance to join another manufacturer team and show what he has got against a top line driver. If he flourishes, Mercedes should swoop in and grab him. If he doesn’t, Bottas or the ever improving Russell will be there for Mercedes.

    1. @geemac I actually think Bottas doesn’t deserve the Mercedes.

      Bottas has got 5 wins in his time with the team, whilst Hamilton won 28 (!) in that period.
      Qualifying looks a tiny bit better, but he’s still outclassed: 26 poles to 10.
      Hamilton will win his 3 titles since Bottas arrived and the Fin ony got 3rd, 5th and will probably lose his 2nd to VER this yr.

      That’s a far cry from what Rosberg did (whatever you might think of him) and quite frankly it’s robbing us of good fighting at the front for the last few years. Not looking forward in another year of that from him.

      1. The worst part of Bottas for me at least is that almost always when he is behind in races, he is complacent. He drops back 20 seconds and is still looks almost happy “for the team” in the podium afterwards, whereas in Nico’s case he usually was within 2 – 5 secs of Lewis and felt like while not as fast, he still gave it his all until the end.

        1. I hope you was not thinking that Ocon would challenge Lewis because i don’t rate Ocon so high he could.

          1. In 2014 Ocon did beat Verstappen and won the Euro F3 championship and in he won the GP3 title in 2015 before making his debut for Manor in F1 in 2016. So he clearly has tremendous potential.

      2. @jeffreyj Rosberg had the measure of lewis until merc became a tutle ccotender. Bottas has been stiched up at least 2x this season. The team is clearly favouring one driver therefore numbers don’t matter even if Bottas is ahead in Q this year.

    2. I agree, as long as Mercedes is the dominant car. They’ll start missing a more consistent performer if/when they slip a little bit performance-wise.

      I hope this is a one year deal allowing Mercedes to have their pick for the new regulations, when they should go for Russell.

    3. @geemac completely agree! This is bad news for the sport and definitely for us as viewers. I would have loved to see Ocon spice up the team, while i don’t actually think he would be much faster than Bottas, he would definitely be more exciting (everyone is more exciting than Bottas).

      All we can do is hope that Ferrari and Red Bull close the cap or overtake mercedes, so that they can’t afford a 2nd driver, but that they need two quick guys who can overtake and outperform the car every now and then…

  6. I feel disappointed from this decision, I hoped that Mercedes won’t play it safe and try to invest in youth. Bottas has been tested and he’s not able to challenge Hamilton by far. Yes Hamilton is one of a kind, but still what less Ocon will do in Bottas place besides push even more Hamilton and the team.

    1. “I hoped that Mercedes won’t play it safe and try to invest in youth”
      Why? Its not like we dont have enough youngsters on the grid. Also who cares about age, you dont need to keep giving youngster a chance. We dont need a ever changing grid. How do you even become a fan of someone if they get dumped for youngster every few years.
      Bottas is doing a good job, even adds a little bit of drama with the whole viking act. Its fun to see, no need to change drivers.

      1. @Valinor, What I say is I prefer to see a youngster on a champion winning car than a person that has been already tried and imo cannot even do a Rosberg. I prefer to be a fun of the sport than wait to be a Bottas fan if he manage to do something. Also “Viking act”, really Bottas? The guy talks and you instantly got a “sleep” spell on you.

        1. Ah ok, that clears it up.

          I forgot to say “failed Viking act” Its fun to see him fail and make a fool out of himself :P

        2. Rosberg beat Hamilton in their 4 season together. Why is everyone so impatient with Bottas?

    2. @stagger Bottas isn’t allowed to test ham, ham is better and merc is happy with it, not to mention that Bot is the perfect number 2.

  7. He tends to do good on tracks where Lewis struggles.

    Lewis is superhuman when it comes to stop start tracks, mixed surface conditions with ever changing grip. He tends to throw his car in to the corner and sort it out.

    Bottas is more methodical, can setup a quali lap perfectly, prepare everything, step by step and get it done. In the race his pace falls off due to ever-changing conditions. When tires go bad, brake points shift, car begins to slide around, then Lewis is a fraction better. Over many laps that accumulates.

    If Mercedes cannot get a really spectacular driver, then Bottas is just fine. He will never be a Lewis or Verstappen, but he is easily more reliable than Vettel and most probably faster than all other competition he had for the seat. (Ocon for example).

    Mercedes did the sensible decission, they are there to win, they are winning by a significant margin, why change lineup that almost ensures 6th title for Hamilton and 6th title for Mercedes.

    1. “He tends to do good on tracks where Lewis struggles”

      What tracks are those?

      1. Austria for one, he beat him again, russia also, perhaps abu dhabi.

  8. Can see why Mercedes made this decision, but my god what a boring outcome for fans.

    More or less guarantees Lewis his 7th WDC next year, barring a major upturn in form for either Red Bull or Ferrari.

    1. Dont expect anything from Limping horses, RBR-Honda on the other hand they sure look like they could be in mix with Max.

  9. Disappointed, but not surprised.

    Really hoping that he can put a better show though. Rosberg was a decent driver, but evolved on his 3rd year driving a championship winning car. Bottas 2.0 looked like a joke compared to the improvement that Nico had on 2016. I would be surprised if he could push Lewis like Nico did in 2014 even with some luck.

  10. Good news, although unsurprising.

  11. Hardly exciting. All that fuss for that is disappointing, I guess Mercedes has so little challenge this year that they will bag the WCC easily with Bottas. And I doubt he will ever have a shot at the title while Hamilton is in the other car.

  12. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    29th August 2019, 11:40

    The correct decision I think.
    What now?
    Ocon to Renault
    > Hulkenberg to Haas
    > Grosjean to Williams?

    1. Could be a good fit at Haas, KMag+ Ocon= Defcon III, that could be a fantastic fight, easily the most aggressive pair on the grid.

    2. @fullcoursecaution

      Ocon to Renault
      Hulk to Haas
      Latifi to Williams
      Grosjean to the kitchen

      1. I agree with this Grosjean is out otherwise Renault would sign him before this swapping of riders.

  13. So Russel will drive for Mercedes in 2021, Ocon will have 2 years contract with Renault and Hulkenberg will move to Haas, as for Grojean….. God only knows, might replace Kubica in Williams but I believe Williams can attract a young talent instead.

  14. I dare to say Toto and Mercedes never had the intention to put Ocon in the car. Remember what Toto said about Wehrlein, calling him his little prince and what not but eventually dropped him. So why would they now sign Ocon, a driver somewhat similar (talented but inexperienced, big ego) to Wehrlein?

    They probably only blew this up to improve their position for contract negotiations with Bottas.

    1. @d0senbrot I think Mercedes, the sponsor, wanted Ocon for sponsoring reasons, but the team wants Ham to be happy. Toto made it sound uncomfortable for Bot, just keep him down as if Bot wasn’t picked up to be a number 2.

  15. Yes!
    Really happy for him!

    Mercedes, Lewis, Valtteri!

  16. Jose Lopes da Silva
    29th August 2019, 11:57

    Probably Grosjean is at the end of the line as Latifi will go to Williams.

  17. Slightly surprising and maybe more comfortable for Hamilton.

  18. Safe and dull. I’d far have preferred to see them put Russell there. I disagree totally with the idea that you can burn out the best drivers by placing them in top teams too soon. Allowing for their mistakes, it’s still obvious who has the talent and temperament to compete for a championship. Hamilton, Verstappen and Leclerc all showed as much. And Mercedes need the same level of replacement for Hamilton. How will they know? Leaving Russell down at the bottom of the field won’t improve him.

  19. I think this is a sensible decision. I don’t see what all the fuss is about with Ocon to be honest. He never impressed me all that much.

    Bottas is pretty reliable and he gets on with Lewis and the team. I think next year might be his last year at Merc though unless Lewis leaves at the end of 2020. This seems unlikely.

  20. Roberto Giacometti
    29th August 2019, 14:55

    A nice and safe (and boring) solution , being a good little wingman and in the end , big baby lewis is happy and the toys do not get thrown out of the pram !!!!

  21. Happy for him but for the sake of the sport Ham needs a challenging teammate. Sleep walking unchallenged into championships doesn’t do his legacy any favours at all.

  22. As I said at ….
    Why change a combination that clearly works? Mercedes are winning everything in sight. The drivers are in harmony. The teams work. The trophies keep coming. It ain’t broke, why fix it?
    Good call, Toto.

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