Bottas says he 'deserves' to stay at Mercedes

Winner Mercedes Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas celebrates on the podium after the Formula One Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku on April 28, 2019. Image: Alexander NEMENOV / AFP
Winner Mercedes Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas celebrates on the podium after the Formula One Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku on April 28, 2019. Image: Alexander NEMENOV / AFP
alexander nemenov

Valtteri Bottas says he wants to remain Lewis Hamilton's teammate in 2020.

Earlier, the Finn's chances of a new deal appeared slim, following his disappointing 2018 campaign.

But Bottas has looked stronger and more consistent this season, and at Silverstone was genuinely a match for world champion Hamilton throughout the weekend.

He says he would be happy to remain Hamilton's teammate at Mercedes next year.

"If it wasn't for Lewis, perhaps I would have won more races," Bottas told the French broadcaster Canal Plus.

"But to be honest, I wouldn't change anything, because the situation helps me to progress and achieve more.  I want to challenge him," he said.

"I would like to extend the contract for next season."

Mercedes, however, is clearly looking around on the driver market, and already has the Toto Wolff-supported Esteban Ocon on the reserve bench.

Bottas insisted: "I think I've proved to the team that I deserve to stay at Mercedes.  But we will have to wait a few more races.

"Nothing has been signed yet, but I am trying to keep making progress so that everything should be fine."

Fascinatingly, Bottas said he is setting his sights very high in the event that Mercedes does not keep him.

"If I have to leave Mercedes, then I would like to be at the team that is in second place.  At the moment that is Ferrari," he said.

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