A string of strong performances in 2017, including a win in Russia in April, sees Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas currently in third place in the Formula One world Drivers’ Championships.
And, with second placed Sebastian Vettel firmly in his sights, some might have expected the Finn to be disappointed at the one-year contract extension proferred by Mercedes.
They would be wrong, according to the man himself. And he, for one, wouldn’t have it any other way.
"I have to say I'm happy with this," said Bottas of his one-year contract.
"I understand of course always the team's view on things, and for sure the team also wants to have options open for the future.
"I understand 100%, but with this I am very happy. It's still better than the original contract that I had.
"It's still as always before with my career in F1, it's going to be completely down to me.
"If I perform well, there's going to be no problem, and we can have a long future together.
"I believe in myself, I believe I'll continue to grow as a driver and be a better driver.
"Even this season already, I was given this one-year opportunity to make it for a second year, so that gives me confidence."
Bottas currently lies 27 points behind Ferrari’s Vettel after the German's disastrous early retirement in Singapore, with teammate Lewis Hamilton a distant 51 points ahead.
Ahead of this weekend’s race in Malaysia, the first of the remaining six Grand Prix races, Bottas said: "The hunger to win and to finish strong is so big that definitely we (Mercedes) want to be 1-2 in the drivers’ championship.
"The priority is to get the constructors, but we want to be 1-2. For the team, it is important to win the drivers’ championship.
"I will just focus on trying to get Sebastian, and I am sure the team is behind me as well."
Bottas ended a three-year association with Williams after slipping from fourth in the world Drivers’ Championships in 2014, to eighth in 2016, to take on the daunting task of replacing 2016 champ Nico Rosberg following his retirement.
After the rush to release him from his contract at Williams, Bottas admits: “For sure in January, when I did the contract for this year, only eight months ago, it was a very different situation.
"Of course I was always going to agree to anything to be able to drive the quickest car, so it was a very different situation and everything had to be done quite quickly."
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