Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff has described the prospect of Valtteri Bottas remaining with the group for F1 2018 as ‘nearly a no brainer’, however says the choice can wait till the upcoming summer time break.
Bottas joined Mercedes in January 2017 to interchange retired champion Nico Rosberg, however joined on a mere single 12 months deal to provide the title profitable group contingency ought to he not carry out to straightforward and supply flexibility in a fluid driver market that sees the likes of Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen out of contract for 2018.
Nonetheless, Bottas has proven a wonderful flip since becoming a member of Mercedes, his wins in Russia and Austria placing him inside 23 factors of the championship lead on the mid-way stage within the season. Certainly, Bottas – who has additionally established a very good working relationship with Hamilton up to now – has emerged because the highest-scoring driver of all for the reason that Spherical 5 in Monaco.
Regardless of the choices out there to Mercedes, it’s subsequently anticipated to maintain Bottas for F1 2018 and seemingly past, with a call to ‘contemplated on a seaside’ in August.
“He is nearly a no brainer,” he mentioned. “Identical to to simply accept the puzzle collectively and it isn’t solely about 2018. I believe it is about shifting ahead, about what occurs in 19 and 20, the danger and alternatives. That is why after Budapest, hopefully a very good race once more and we’ll ponder on a seaside on what’s about proper and mistaken for the group.”
Certainly, many anticipate a number of actions within the driver marketplace for 2018, with the emphasis shifting away from Raikkonen and Alonso because the ‘keys’ to the motive force market and as an alternative specializing in Vettel, who – in keeping with sources within the Italian media – could possibly be compelled to tone down his cope with Ferrari as a part of the fallout from his Azerbaijan Grand Prix furore.
Christian Horner has already acknowledged neither of Purple Bulls drivers are shifting, although there’s suggestion Daniel Ricciardo might have signed a pre-deal with Ferrari for 2019. If this occurs, Raikkonen could be anticipated to race on for yet another season.
In the meantime, Alonso is about to stick with McLaren – no matter which engine it makes use of -, whereas Hamilton stays in contract with Mercedes till the tip of the 2018 season.