Mercedes’ young wonder-Finn Valtteri Bottas has been kicking ass this year in Formula One, but was originally signed on as a one-year replacement after Nico Rosberg left. Fortunately, now team Executive Director Toto Wolff admits Bottas should stay, reports Motorsport.com. Wolff’s question now isn’t if, but how long.
Nothing has been agreed yet between Bottas and Mercedes, so for those of us who have become fans of the fast Finn, this wait sucks. Bottas told Motorsport.com that they haven’t even started talking about any future plans yet, as those usually happen around when F1 takes a break in August.
Fortunately for those of us waiting on pins and needles to see if Bottas will stay, Wolff told Motorsport.com that they definitely want to keep Bottas around for at least one more year:
He’s almost a no-brainer. I would just like to get the puzzle together, and it’s not only about 2018, but there is logic.
I think it’s about looking forward and what happens in ‘19 and ‘20, the risk and opportunities, and that’s why after Budapest, and hopefully a good race again, I’m going to contemplate on a beach about what’s right and wrong for the team.
However, as Wolff notes, the big question left is one of length. Mercedes is at the top of the F1 world right now, so they could easily land whoever they want as a driver—even if they have to wait until 2019 or 2020 to do it. However, they also need to think of the future, and having a younger driver who works well with the team who can grow into a force to be reckoned with over several seasons is a major plus.
Bottas is already winning races for Mercedes, which is fantastic. Some of his second-place drives were also epic climbs back up through the field. The guy can drive. Give him a good seat for more than one year this time and a worthy paycheck, Mercedes. He’s earned it.