Mercedes have confirmed that they are retaining Valtteri Bottas for the 2020 season, with the Finn once again completing their line-up with Lewis Hamilton.
Bottas joined Mercedes in 2017 after the departure of Nico Rosberg, and has achieved five victories with the team in that time.
It is understood that his contract extension only covers 2020, meaning he remains on another one year deal, following suit with all the previous years he has been with the team.
In a press release issued by the team, Bottas said: “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.
“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’ decision to retain Bottas means their reserve driver, Esteban Ocon is still without a drive for next year.
Team Principal, Toto Wolff had previously said that it would be a straight decision between Bottas and Ocon for the second seat at the Silver Arrows and after much deliberation, he opted for the former.
“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.” commented Wolff in the team statement.
“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.”
It is widely expected that Ocon will be released from his Mercedes links at the end of the season, freeing him up to join another team so he can return to the grid, and it is likely that he will join Renault, replacing Nico Hulkenberg.