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Formula 1: Bottas Signs New Deal With Mercedes

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Following the big announcement of Lewis Hamilton's two-year contract extension at Mercedes on Thursday, it's safe to say the confirmation Valtteri Bottas' renewal on Friday was more muted.

Of the two drivers, it was always the Finn that most anticipated would be under the most scrutiny, so the decision to keep him would be much more of a story than the widely expected to keep the four-time world champion for a few more years.

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Competition from the likes of Red Bull man Daniel Ricciardo also put the pressure on for Bottas to improve after what many considered a strong first half of his first season at Brackley last year fizzled out during the final flyaways.

For the most part, the 28-year-old has risen to the challenge and could well have won on several occasions, notably in China and Baku, but luck has never really been in his favour.

The quality of his performances has been recognised with motorsport boss Toto Wolff extending his contract again, however, it is only a one-plus-one deal which means he will stay for 2019 with the option of renewing for 2020.

Compare that to Hamilton, who has signed the most lucrative contract ever at $40m-a-year until the end of 2020, that at the request of the four-time world champion as Formula 1 will embark on major changes for 2021 and he will look to consider his options.

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No salary figure has been given for Bottas although it is believed his current deal is only worth around $12m-per-year with bonuses, according to some reports.

Even so, to have resolved his future was a key moment for the three-time Grand Prix winner.

"It is great news that I will be racing for Mercedes in 2019 and it is nice to announce it here in Hockenheim - not just the home race for Mercedes but also the circuit where I took my first ever single-seater wins back in 2007," he said in the press release.

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"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.

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"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."

What has also been an important factor for the German manufacturer is the harmony Bottas has brought alongside Hamilton, with the pair striking up a good working relationship despite appearing polar opposites in terms of personality and approach.

"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," Wolff commented.

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"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."

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Source : https://www.givemesport.com/1357249-valtteri-bottas-signs-new-mercedes-deal-for-2019-formula-1-season

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