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Bottas and Mercedes initiate 2018 contract discussions

Bottas and Mercedes initiate 2018 contract discussions
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Contract renewal talks for 2018 are underway between Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes, with a final decision expected by the Singapore Grand Prix, according to Toto Wolff.

Bottas was signed to a one-year contract with Mercedes following the retirement  of reigning world champion Nico Rosberg.

But the Finn's performance has been impeccable so far this season, fulfilling the German outfit's expectations but also resulting in his first two face wins in F1.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is aiming for a resolution of Bottas' future before F1 takes off for Asia mid-September, with the current summer break offering an opportunity to pursue talks.

"It’s a good time to talk and to think things through," says Wolff.

"We had some good discussions with Valtteri before Hungary. I’d certainly like to go to Asia for the final races with a decision."

F1's heavy schedule isn't leaving much time for negotiations but Bottas isn't concerned.

"There could be some progress to be made during the break because obviously the last month has been pretty hectic," says the Finn.

"It’s been difficult to have proper meetings and discussions with so many races. For sure there is some time but there is no rush, we don’t need to get anything done before Spa."

"I feel like I'm well inside the team and I've only had positive feedback, so I'm not too worried," he told Auto Bild.

"I am honestly not looking around for any other team," Bottas revealed. "I want to start a long relationship with Mercedes, so that has priority."

Rumors earlier in the summer claimed that Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel had signed a pre-agreement with Mercedes for 2018 but the German team has brushed off  the story as 'fake news'.

But Vettel, who currently leads the world championship, is expected to extend his stay at Maranello, along with team mate Kimi Raikkonen.

All signs therefore point to a likely renewal of Bottas' contract with Mercedes, with discussions probably centered around the length of the deal and its all-important worth.

"I feel like I'm well inside the team and I've only had positive feedback, so I'm not too worried," he told Auto Bild.

"I am honestly not looking around for any other team. I want to start a long relationship with Mercedes, so that has priority."

In the interim, in the video below Valtteri Bottas wishes you all a great summer break!

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