Mercedes Sign Bottas For Another Season

While 28-year-old Valtteri Bottas had a successful first season driving for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport in his fifth season as a full-time Formula One driver, there is a lot of speculation that he will not be retained by the team for the 2019 season.

In the 2017 season, Bottas won his first three career Formula One races en route to a career-high 3rd place finish in the drivers standings. However, he only signed a one-year deal to remain with Mercedes through the 2018 season, which has led many to believe that they are seeking a replacement for him for the 2019 season.

Why would this be the case? Mercedes have been the fastest team in Formula One by far over the last four seasons. In fact, they have won 63 of the 79 races contested since the 2014 season began. If they were adamant about retaining Bottas in the long run, they likely would not have signed him to only another one-year deal.

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But Bottas’ win total of three in the 2017 season was the lowest for any Mercedes driver in any season since the start of the 2014 season, and the team’s win total of 12 was their lowest in the last four years as a result of it. Plus, Bottas’ finish of 3rd place in the drivers standings was the team’s only non-top 2 finish by any of their drivers in the drivers standings in the last four seasons.

In the 2014 and 2015 seasons, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton led a 1-2 finish in the drivers standings over his teammate Nico Rosberg. In both seasons, the two drivers combined for 16 victories, with Hamilton’s win total going from 11 to 10 from the 2014 season to the 2015 season and Rosberg’s win total going from five to six from the 2014 season to the 2015 season.

In the 2016 season, Rosberg led a 1-2 finish in the drivers standings over his teammate Hamilton, and the two drivers combined for 19 victories, with Rosberg winning a career-high nine races and Hamilton winning 10.

So while Bottas had a solid first season driving for Mercedes, there are plenty of reasons to believe that there are drivers out there who could do a better job than he did in his first season driving for the top team in the sport with top-tier equipment. After all, Hamilton racked up three times the amount of victories that Bottas did this past season en route to winning his fourth career championship.

 

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Will Valtteri Bottas be replaced by another driver at Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport in the 2019 season, or will he receive another contract from the team so that he can stay put following what is set to be his second season with the team in 2018? Only time will tell.


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Source : https://beyondtheflag.com/2017/12/17/formula-one-mercedes-looking-2019-replacement-valtteri-bottas/

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