Bottas scoffs at eight million euro salary claim

©Mercedes AMG Petronas
©Mercedes AMG Petronas

New Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas has dismissed reports that he's set to earn eight million euros this season.

Bottas was a late-notice replacement for Nico Rosberg, who abruptly retired from Formula One just five days after clinching the 2016 Formula one world championship.

With almost all leading drivers already signed up for 2017 it left Mercedes with few options for who to bring in as Rosberg's replacement alongside Lewis Hamilton. Bottas' former team Williams drove a hard bargain before releasing the Finn, and Bottas himself would have had similarly a strong hand in salary negotiations.

Having previously been earning three million euros at Williams, it's been reported that the 27-year-old has nearly tripled that with his move to Brackley which would mean he now earns more than compatriot Kimi Raikkonen does at Ferrari.

"I don't know where those numbers come from and I don't like talking about it," Bottas told the Finnish news agency Suomen Tietotoimisto.

"It's not public information though," he added. "It is just the usual speculation."

However, Bottas is on a one-year-only deal, with speculation that Mercedes see him as a 'stop gap' for this season before Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso become free agents in 2018. Some reports have said that Bottas only has four races to impress his new bosses if he wants to secure a longer deal.

"I have not been told of any schedule," Bottas responded. "Of course the team expects good results from me, and I have to deliver.

"Many people think this is a risk for my career, but I see it exactly the other way around. For me it's just a ridiculously good opportunity," he added.

"Nico has already showed that it is possible to beat Lewis. Of course he is a triple world champion and I haven't won any races, but I don't see any reason why we can't be evenly matched."

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