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Published: 13:28 | 13/9/17

Bottas extends Mercedes deal

Valtteri Bottas has signed a new contract with Mercedes to race for the team in the 2018 Formula 1 season.

The 28-year-old joined the reigning constructor's champions in January 2017, replacing the then-world champion Nico Rosberg who had surprisingly announced his retirement after claiming a first world drivers' title.

The Finn has enjoyed an impressive season, sitting in third place in the rankings, behind the rejuvenated Sebastian Vettel in second and team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who leads the way.

Having entered the sport in 2015, this is Bottas' fifth F1 campaign and he has won two of the 13 races so far this year, the first victories of his career.

Although Bottas didn't win any grand prixs while at former team Williams, he did finish on the podium on nine occasions prior to moving to Mercedes.

"I am honoured and proud to continue to work with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport in 2018 and to remain part of the Mercedes family," he 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.

"I'm happy to have celebrated my first race wins in a Silver Arrow. However, there's always room for improvement and I still have not shown my full potential."

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff paid tribute to his driver, stating the decision to keep him at the team was a "no-brainer".

"We gave Valtteri a big challenge this year: joining the team at the eleventh hour, stepping up to the forefront of F1 and pairing with the sport's best driver as his team-mate," he said. "With that in mind, his results have been probably even more impressive.

"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."

The Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay will be shown live over the weekend of 15-17 September on eir sport in Ireland. The race is live on eir Sport 1 on Sunday, 17 September [race time 1pm]

Image: Getty/Clive Rose

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