Formula 1

Valtteri Bottas pens new one-year deal with Mercedes

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Drivers' and Constructors' Championship holders Mercedes have agreed a one-year deal extension with Valtteri Bottas.

This confirms the final place for next season for the top three teams, with Red Bull and Ferrari also choosing to go with the same drivers line-up for season 2018.

Replacing last year's champion Nico Rosberg, and bringing harmony back to a divided garage, was always going to be a tall order for Mercedes this season, but the acquiring of Bottas has proved a clever one.

By all accounts, Bottas has a much better relationship with Lewis Hamilton than Rosberg ever did, and getting his first wins in Formula 1 this season has rewarded Mercedes' faith in him.

Bottas said: "When the team hired me for the 2017 season, they took a leap of faith by putting their trust in my skills. This new contract for 2018 shows that I've earned that trust."

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff stated: "We gave Valtteri a big challenge this year. 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."

Bottas is undoubtedly talented, and it will be this which takes precedence over any other factors in this extension.

His relationship with Hamilton, however, has stirred up debate about number one and two drivers within teams, and questioned whether teams can have two drivers pushing for every race win under one roof.

On their relationship, Hamilton said: "He has done a great job, it's only his first year with the team. He will continue to go from strength to strength.

"Valtteri's energy is helping create a great harmony. When he is at the factory, he brings a great energy which everyone loves and appreciates."

While Hamilton will appreciate the more relaxed atmosphere within the garage this season, as he goes head-to-head with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel for the Drivers' Championship, with the talent Bottas has, it will be interesting to see how long he will be happy to back up Hamilton in his title push.

The Finn took to Twitter to post his delight at signing a new deal with Mercedes, and you can see what he said below.

In addition, with 2019 potentially being massive in terms of the driver transfer market, it makes sense that teams would take a cautious approach for season 2018.

With the likes of Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, and Max Verstappen all potentially on the move, the shape of the Formula 1 grid could be massively changed in 2019.

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