Valtteri Bottas has extended its contract on Thursday and will also be driving at Mercedes in 2020. Esteban Ocon will replace Nico Hülkenberg at Renault next year.
The thirty-year-old Bottas has been driving since 2017 alongside reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton at the dominant Mercedes. He has since won five Grands Prix and has been in pole position ten times.
Team boss Toto Wolff announced earlier that he would quickly make a decision about the future of Bottas. He is usually in the shadow of Hamilton and Mercedes has a talent in Esteban Ocon (22) that could replace him.
Ocon himself, however, is explicitly associated with a seat at Renault, where he would replace Nico Hülkenberg in 2020. That announcement is expected this weekend during the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.
To whom it may concern ... staying He's staying! 👊 @ValtteriBottas will race for the team next season! 💙🔥Avatar
Poor performance in 2018
2018 in particular was a lean year for Bottas. He didn't win a single Grand Prix, while Hamilton did no less than eleven times. Bottas did not even appear on stage once in the last four races of the previous season.
2019 started a lot better for Bottas. He won the opening race in Australia and then also in Azerbaijan. Bottas then regularly had to acknowledge his superiority in Hamilton, which led to rumors about replacing the former.
Wolff would have promised Ocon that he would get a seat by 2020, at Mercedes or somewhere else. Now that the Frenchman seems to be signing with his compatriots of Renault, the way is clear for Bottas to stay with Mercedes.
The Belgian Grand Prix starts on Friday with the first two free practice sessions (11 a.m. and 3 p.m.), followed by Saturday the third free practice session (11 a.m.) and qualification (3 p.m.) and on Sunday the race (3:10 p.m.).