Mercedes has exercised its one-year extension option in Valtteri Bottas’ contract to keep him at the team for 2020
Valtteri Bottas will stay at Mercedes in 2020 Photo: Motorsport Images
Mercedes has confirmed that Valtteri Bottas will remain with the team in 2020, ending speculation that Esteban Ocon could replace him.
The team announced on Thursday it had exercised a one-year extension clause in the Finn’s contract, keeping him in the team until the end of the 2020 Formula 1 season.
Bottas said that it was a boost to begin the second half of 2019 with his future secured and that he was aiming to win the drivers’ championship next year.
“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,” he said.
“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 One 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.”
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said prior to the summer break he had a tough decision to make between Bottas and Ocon but suggested the harmony its current pairing had created was crucial to its high level of performance and recent success.
“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,” Wolff said.
“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.
“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.”
Bottas joined Mercedes in 2017 after the shock retirement of Nico Rosberg.
Since then, Bottas has won five races while partnering Lewis Hamilton at the team and has helped Mercedes to two further constructors’ titles.