Valtteri Bottas Signs New Mercedes Deal To Partner Lewis Hamilton For 2018

Lewis Hamilton will be partnered alongside Valtteri Bottas for a second season after Mercedes confirmed the Finnish driver has been retained for next year.

Bottas, who replaced defending world champion Nico Rosberg at Mercedes following his shock retirement, has won two races this year and heads into Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix third in the standings, 41 points adrift of championship leader Hamilton.

The 28-year-old Finn has agreed a one-year deal, which allows Mercedes to keep their options open with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen both contracted at Red Bull until the end of 2018.

The 2017 Formula 1 grid

The 2017 Formula 1 grid

  • 1/20 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari

    Vettel finished fourth last season and will hope improvements to the team's 1.6-litre V6 will help him back onto the podium.

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  • 2/20 Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari

    The experienced Finn largely underperformed last season. At 37, could be his final season racing for a top team.

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  • 3/20 Sergio Perez, Force India

    Perez retains the drive he has held since 2014. Force India again use the Mercedes-AMG engine.

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  • 4/20 Esteban Ocon, Force India

    The talented 20-year-old raced in 9 Grand Prix for Manor last season and earns a call-up to a much more competitive team.

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  • 5/20 Romain Grosjean, Haas

    Haas had a very good season last year, finishing 8th with their Ferrari engine. Grosjean will look to improve on his 13th place finish.

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  • 6/20 Kevin Magnussen, Haas

    The Dane moves from Renault to Haas. Struggled last season.

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  • 7/20 Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren

    The talented Belgian, who scored a world championship point in the unfamiliar MP4-31 last year, replaces Jenson Button at McLaren.

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  • 8/20 Fernando Alonso, McLaren

    The youngest double champion of all-time remains at McLaren for the 2017 season, despite a well publicised approach from Mercedes.

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  • 9/20 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

    The team - and driver - to beat since the infamous V6 rule changes came into place in 2014.

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  • 10/20 Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes

    Bottas replaces world champion Nico Rosberg at Mercedes, Will push Hamilton all the way this campaign.

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  • 11/20 Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull

    Adrian Newey has completely redesigned the RB13 for the 2017 season and Ricciardo will be hopeful of bettering last year's 3rd place finish.

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  • 12/20 Max Verstappen, Red Bull

    There will be plenty of attention on Verstappen as he completes his first full season at Red Bull.

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  • 13/20 Nico Hulkenberg, Renault

    Hulkenberg moves to the team from Force India, replacing Kevin Magnussen.

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  • 14/20 Jolyon Palmer, Renault

    The Brit came under pressure last year for a disappointing 18th-place finish. Will be hopeful of improvement.

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  • 15/20 Marcus Ericsson, Sauber

    Sauber were poor last season and were plagued by retirements. Ericsson nevertheless remains with the team for a third campaign.

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  • 16/20 Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber

    The 22-year-old wins a drive at Sauber, moving from Manor Racing.

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  • 17/20 Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso

    Resigned to Toro Rosso after plenty of speculation; will be desperate to show he shouldn't have been replaced by Verstappen at Red Bull.

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  • 18/20 Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso

    Now in his third season with the team. Toro Rosso this year return to a Renault engine.

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  • 19/20 Lance Stroll, Williams

    18-year-old rookie. Stroll's first appearance in the car didn't inspire confidence, he spun the car in testing.

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  • 20/20 Felipe Massa, Williams

    Heroically returns to the team after Bottas departed for Mercedes. One of the most experienced drivers on the grid.

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Hamilton's deal with Mercedes also expires at the end of next year, but the Englishman is expected to sign a new long-term contract with the team.

Bottas, drafted in by Mercedes following Rosberg's decision to walk away from the sport only five days after he won the championship, has steadily impressed in his opening year. The cool-headed Finn also provides the team with much-needed stability following three years of bitter in-fighting between Hamilton and Rosberg.

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Hamilton on Mercedes team unity, finding balance and being 'empowered'

Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda revealed he had spoken to Sebastian Vettel about the German's future plans, but following the announcement of his new three-year extension with Ferrari last month, Bottas was always likely to be retained.

"We gave Valtteri a big challenge this year by joining the team at the eleventh hour, stepping up to the forefront of F1 and pairing with the sport's best driver as his team-mate," Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said on Wednesday. "With that in mind, his results have been probably even more impressive.

"There have been ups and downs - more ups, fewer downs - and some great highlights like his two race wins in Russia and Austria. Overall, the balance of his performances and his upward trajectory made it a no-brainer for us to continue with him into 2018.

"For our team, the bonus factors are the respect and sportsmanship that have grown between our two drivers. The chemistry and dynamic between Valtteri and Lewis work and are what we need to take the fight to our competitors."


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Source : http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/motor-racing/Formula1/valtteri-bottas-lewis-hamilton-new-deal-mercedes-formula-1-a7944701.html

Valtteri Bottas signs new Mercedes deal to partner Lewis Hamilton for 2018
Valtteri Bottas signs new Mercedes deal for 2018 season
Valtteri Bottas signs new one-year deal with Formula One team Mercedes
Valtteri Bottas signs contract extension with Mercedes for 2018
Bottas signs new Mercedes deal for 2018
Valtteri Bottas signs new deal to remain at Mercedes for second season
Valtteri Bottas signs new one-year deal to race for Mercedes in Formula One again in 2018
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Bottas signs new Mercedes deal for 2018
Bottas signs new Mercedes deal for 2018