It is believed that the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team have only given Valtteri Bottas a one-year contract, so that they have all options open to them when a number of influential driver’s contracts come up for renewal at the end of the 2017 season.
The finer details of the Bottas deal have not been confirmed by the German squad as yet, but it is believed the Finn was offered a one-year contract with a performance based extension option included.
Mercedes Motorsport Boss Toto Wolff, felt that from a team perspective, it is paramount they are able to weigh up the situation at the end of the coming season, when the likes of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, as well as Bottas and other promising drivers will all be available.
Wolff was also quick to point out that he and the team have every confidence that the Finn will be successful at Mercedes and will in all likelihood remain with them next year, as he explained to Finnish F1 commentator, Oskari Saari on the Formulacast podcast on Wednesday.
“We wouldn’t have chosen Valtteri if we thought that he was not good enough to continue with the team.
“But as a matter of fact, the market is very dynamic at the moment. Next year options open – young drivers, Sebastian, Fernando, Valtteri, many of them. So it is about understanding that – and Valtteri does.
“Equally we have great faith and confidence in him that he can stay with us for a long time but now we need to see how the season goes.”
The Austrian also confirmed in the interview that Lewis Hamilton had been kept abreast of the situation, and was made aware of the teams plans before Christmas.
“I had a chat with Lewis before Christmas about many topics, and I filled in him on what we were considering. He said he thought Valtteri was a nice guy, one of the guys he actually got along with well in F1 and he thought he was a good option.”
Wolff also added that he felt the two personalities of both Hamilton and Bottas would be a good situation for Mercedes and possibly prove a less difficult relationship than there has been in the past.