Mercedes Signs Valtteri Bottas For Another Season

Valtteri Bottas has had what you would describe as an exceptionally consistent 2017 Formula 1 season.

The Finnish driver crossed to Mercedes from Williams after 2016 World Champion Nico Rosberg retired suddenly, leaving the German manufacturer with a sizeable hole to fill.

While many drivers were talked about to partner Lewis Hamilton, Bottas slipped into the role with a minimum of fanfare, and instantly struck up a good relationship with the British driver, something which Hamilton and Rosberg clearly lacked.

This season has seen the 28-year-old record his first two wins in the sport (Russian and Austrian GPs) and has seen him only place outside the top six once, which was the Spanish Grand Prix where he failed to finish the race due to engine failure.

Despite this, team boss Toto Wolff has called on Bottas to have a killer approach, after wasting his chance of recording another win at the Brazilian GP.

Bottas started the race in pole position, with Hamilton starting in pit lane after crashing in qualifying.

Despite this, Hamilton stormed home to finish in fourth position, just 2.7 seconds behind his teammate.

Autosport reported Wollf as saying it is a lesson that Bottas should take on board.

"I think Lewis the whole year has been rock and roll, and Valtteri has recovered slowly but still needs the tick of a killer.

"But you must not underestimate that in traffic against the Ferraris it was pretty difficult."

F1 Grand Prix of Brazil

Sebastian Vettel went past Bottas during the first lap, and kept him at arms length all day to claim his first win since the Hungarian GP, more than three months ago.

Wolff conceded once Bottas was passed by Vettel, there was a not a lot that could be done.

"Valtteri had a solid race, he lost it at the start.

"The initial getaway was good but there was too much wheelspin through the gears and if the gap is so close between the cars then there is not a lot in it.

"You must not underestimate that in traffic against the Ferraris it was pretty difficult."

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The result virtually ends hope of Mercedes claiming a 1-2 in the Drivers' Championship, with Vettel now holding a 22-point lead over Bottas, with just one race to come in Abu Dhabi.

While Bottas would be slightly disappointed with the result in Brazil, he has proven to been the consummate team man and played a big role in the success of Mercedes in 2017.

He will now look to take another step forward in 2018.

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