Date: 19th June 2017 at 6:47pm
Written by:

Valtteri Bottas was seen as Mercedes best short term fix when Nico Rosberg announced his surprise retirement.

Rosberg was just days removed from clinching the 2016 Formula One World Championship, a rather fortuitous title handed to him by team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s poor reliability issues.

It was believed the Silver Arrows would have like to have tempted the likes for double world champion Fernando Alonso from McLaren Honda or quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel from Ferrari. But both were in water tight contracts with their teams.

That is not the case for 2018 and both could be in contention to replace Bottas at Mercedes for next season.

But the Finn, who took his maiden pole position in Bahrain and first win in Russia is determined to keep hold of his hotly desired seat.

‘It’s about delivering on the level where the car is, and helping with the development. It’s about working as a team, and winning races, which normally is what a team requires. Bottas told

‘It [Mercedes] is a winning team, at a high level, so they expect a lot from the driver. Almost every driver would like to drive for Mercedes, so for sure I need to perform to stay. My ambition is to have a long-term relationship with the team and I hope it is possible.’

He concluded: ‘I know I can win races, I have proved it, and I can be on pole position, so it is possible always. But he is not an always easy teammate to battle with.

‘It is a great motivator for me to be with Lewis though. He is a great reference.’