Mercedes have officially re-signed Valtteri Bottas for the 2021 Formula 1 season, the team announced on Thursday.
A winner of eight grands prix with 12 pole positions, Bottas had long been believed to be continuing with the Silver Arrows for another season and now it is official.
“I’m very happy to stay with Mercedes in 2021 and build on the success we’ve enjoyed together already,” Bottas said in a team statement. “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.”
Since signing with the team in 2017, Bottas’ has helped the team win three-straight constructor’s championships, although his personal output has paled in comparison to teammate Lewis Hamilton.
After winning the first race of 2020, the Finn has seen Hamilton gone on to win the next three straight, and while his late-tyre blowout in last Sunday’s British Grand Prix has him 30 points behind in the standings, he maintains a title of his own is still within his sights.
“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.”
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, who has been a significant influence for Bottas dating back to his time at Williams, added he thinks the best is yet to come from the 30-year-old.
“We are very excited that Valtteri will stay with the team for at least one more season. We’re seeing the strongest Valtteri 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.”