Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team principal and CEO, Toto Wolff is pleased to be able to keep Valtteri Bottas on as the team remains unchanged for the 2019 Formula 1 season.
Bottas has agreed to a new one-year contract with the team having an option available to keep him for the 2020 season; team-mate Lewis Hamilton agreed to a two-year deal yesterday ahead of the German Grand Prix.
Their current line-up, which won the 2017 drivers and constructors championships in Mercedes colours, will remain the same heading into the 2019 season.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he is pleased to be able to keep Bottas on for the 2019 season, believing that he would be leading the championship if the Finn didn’t suffer the bad luck he has suffered so far.
“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 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.”
Both Bottas and Hamilton are enjoying a working relationship together, which helped the team overcome the charge of Scuderia Ferrari in 2017.
The Finn has endured a lot of bad luck this season with two opportunities for wins in China and Azerbaijan taken away from him by car trouble or strategy calls.
Wolff says Bottas’ relationship with Hamilton and the team is ‘open and trusting’ and is excited to continue working alongside the Finn for next year.
“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.”