In Brief

F1: Valtteri Bottas keeps Mercedes seat for 2020

Silver Arrows confirm the Finn will continue to be Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate

Bottas proud to stay with Merc

Mercedes have confirmed that Valtteri Bottas will drive for the team in the 2020 Formula 1 season. 

The Finn was out of contract at the end of 2019 but the Silver Arrows have exercised their option to keep the 30-year-old as Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate. 

Bottas, who is second behind Hamilton in the 2019 drivers’ standings, said ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix: “I am very happy and proud to be part of the team for a fourth season and wish to thank every team member and the board of Mercedes for their trust and belief in me. 

“My performances have been getting better and better each year, and this is a great way to kick start the second half of 2019. 

“My overall target is to become Formula 1 world champion. I believe that on paper, and from my experience with the team, Mercedes is the best option for me to achieve that goal in 2020. 

“We have nine races to go this season and I am determined to keep improving at every one of them. Now, all my thoughts are on Spa and delivering a strong performance with the team this weekend.”

Wolff: Bottas has been impressive

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff praised Bottas for his impressive performances this season and the Finn’s hunger to improve behind the wheel. 

“For 2019, we set Valtteri the challenge of coming back even stronger than we saw him in the first part of 2018 - and he has achieved that, with some really impressive performances in the early races this year,” said Wolff. 

“Although it has been his most successful first half of a championship so far, he is hungry for more and determined to keep on improving and raising his level. That’s the mindset we want from all our team members. 

“The results we have achieved together with Valtteri are no coincidence: he has been an integral part of our championship success in the past two seasons, his teamwork with Lewis has been exemplary and he has shown real strength of character in how he has responded to setbacks. 

“I’m delighted that he will stay with the team for another season at least - and look forward to seeing him raise the bar even further.”

It was also announced on Thursday that reserve driver Esteban Ocon will leave Mercedes for Renault next year. 

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