AFRICAN MIRROR CORRESPONDENT
Top Formula One driver Valtteri Bottas will continue to partner world champion Lewis Hamilton, at least until the end of the 2021 season.
Their team, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, has announced that it has agreed with Bottas that he will stay on until at least the end of the 2021 Formula One season.
The extension means that Bottas will complete his fifth consecutive season, with Mercedes, a team he joined in 2017. He has scored eight wins and 12 pole positions with the team, as well as 39 of his 48 F1 podium finishes.
In a statement, Mercedes said Bottas played a key role in the team’s success in the Constructors’ Championship over the past three seasons and finished runner-up in the Drivers’ Championship in 2019. He is currently second in the 2020 Drivers’ standings, too.
“I’m very happy to stay with Mercedes in 2021 and build on the success we’ve enjoyed together already,” said Bottas. “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.
“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.”
Toto Wolff, CEO and team principal said: “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.”