Khaleej Times

Mercedes not sure over future of Bottas

- AP

BAKU — Mercedes remains uncommitte­d as to when — or if — driver Valtteri Bottas will be given a new contract.

The Finnish driver joined from Williams in an emergency move after world champion Nico Rosberg stunned Mercedes by retiring just days after securing the Formula One title.

Bottas, who was given a one year deal, has exceeded expectatio­ns given how well he has settled in as Lewis Hamilton’s teammate. He has won one race and secured three further podium finishes and a pole position, putting him in third place in the championsh­ip race.

Bottas, who says he is not in discussion­s with other teams, wants a long-term contract. Whether he gets one is a different matter. “I think we just want to give ourselves time to see how the season pans out,” Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff said.

Asked what more Bottas has to do, Wolff replied “just to continue what he does now.”

That would seem to imply he must win at least one more race over the coming weeks, although Wolff steered clear of issuing ultimatums. “I wouldn’t want to attach it on a specific race result. Every day he’s with us it becomes more clear. It’s just that, I’ve been in this sport now for seven or eight years,” Wolff said.

Questioned again as to when a decision will be made, Wolff said “I don’t know.” —

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