Valtteri Bottas has re-signed with Mercedes for the 2021 F1 season as the Finn has another one-year contract extension beside his name.
In not a surprising move, Bottas has re-signed with Mercedes but it is yet another one-year extension for 2021 rather than a multi-year contract which the Finn was looking for as he said ahead of the 2020 season.
It will mark his fifth season with Mercedes in 2021, having joined in 2017 when Nico Rosberg left in 2016. The announcement states the deal with Bottas is agreed for ‘at least the end of the 2021 F1 championship’ – indicating of an option.
It is not clear if the option is for Bottas to invoke or Mercedes. The Finn has had eight wins in all with 12 pole positions and a total of 48 podium places, with maximum coming in the time with the German F1 manufacturer.
“I’m very happy to stay with Mercedes in 2021 and build on the success we’ve enjoyed together already,” said Bottas. “Thank you to everyone in the team and the wider Mercedes family for their continued support and their trust in me. I’m very proud to represent this great team and the three-pointed star on our journey together again next year.
“The past few years have been all about continuous improvement, working on every aspect of my performance. I’m confident that today I’m the strongest I’ve ever been, but I can always raise the bar. Mercedes embraces the same philosophy: They always want to get better and are always hungry for more.
“Ever since I fell in love with F1 as a kid it’s been my dream to one day become world champion. I’m in the fight for the title this year and staying with Mercedes puts me in the best possible position to compete for it next season as well.
“We’re in the middle of a shortened season and I want to give my absolute best in every single race we’ll go to this year. The puncture last weekend was a bit of a blow in my fight with Lewis, but I’m determined to come back strong this weekend on the same track.”
Team boss Toto Wolff added: “We are very excited that Valtteri will stay with the team for at least one more season. We’re seeing the strongest Bottas we’ve ever seen this year – in terms of his on-track performance, but also physically and mentally. He is second in the championship, finished the last season in P2 and plays a very important part in our overall team performance.
“I’m confident that we have the strongest driver pairing in F1 today and signing Valtteri is an important first step in retaining this strength for the future. Valtteri is a hard-working, straightforward guy who has a good relationship with the entire team – including his team-mate, which is not a given when both drivers are fighting for the championship. I’m looking forward to seeing him continue to raise the bar together with us this year and in 2021.”
Here’s what Valtteri Bottas said regarding Toto Wolff
Here’s Toto Wolff on Esteban Gutierrez
Here’s what Pirelli said regarding tyre issues involving Mercedes