F1

Bottas sets sights on overcoming Hamilton after signing new contract

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas sets his sights on overcoming team-mate Lewis Hamilton and winning his first world championship after signing new contract for 2021 season

  • Valtteri Bottas has been retained by Mercedes for the 2021 season 
  • The Finnish driver is 30 points adrift from his team-mate Lewis Hamilton 
  •  The 30-year-old has set his sights on winning his first world championship

Valtteri Bottas has been retained by Mercedes for 2021.

The Finnish driver heads into this weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone 30 points adrift of team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the world championship.

Next season will mark Bottas’ fifth campaign with the Silver Arrows.

Valtteri Bottas has been retained by Mercedes for the upcoming 2021 Formula One season

He is setting his sights on overtaking Lewis Hamilton to win his first world championship

Hamilton’s future beyond this year is yet to be confirmed but it is expected the six-time world champion will also stay with Mercedes.

Bottas, who won the opening round of the season in Austria, said: ‘I’m very happy to stay with Mercedes in 2021 and build on the success we’ve enjoyed together already.

‘The past few years have been all about continuous improvement, working on every aspect of my performance.

The Finnish driver is 30 points adrift from his Mercedes team-mate in the current standings

‘I’m confident that today I’m the strongest I’ve ever been, but I can always raise the bar.

‘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.’

Bottas was on course to finish second at last weekend’s British Grand Prix before a late puncture saw him drop out of the points and further behind Hamilton in the standings.

He added: ‘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.

Bottas was on course to finish second at the British Grand Prix before suffering a late puncture

‘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.’

Bottas had widely been expected to be retained by Mercedes, particularly after their junior driver, George Russell confirmed he will be staying at Williams until the end of next season.

While not quite on Hamilton’s level, Bottas provides stability at Mercedes – with the all-conquering team on course for a remarkable seventh straight drivers’ and constructors’ championships.

Team principal Toto Wolff 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.

Hamilton’s future beyond this year is yet to be confirmed he is expected to stay with Mercedes

‘He is second in the championship, finished the last season in P2 and plays a very important part in our overall team performance.’

Hamilton, our of contract in five months, said last week that he is yet to open formal discussions with Mercedes over a deal.

But it is highly unlikely he will leave a team which looks set to fire him to a record-equalling seventh title this term.




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