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Bottas confident of new Mercedes deal

NEWS STORY
16/07/2018

While a crash in qualifying in Melbourne was purely down to the Finn, most of the issues that have compromised Valtteri Bottas' season since then have been out of his hands.

First there was poor team strategy in Bahrain, followed by the unfortunate timing of the safety car in China. In Baku he picked up a puncture on a piece of debris just three laps from the end, while in France he was booted up the rear by an overzealous Sebastian Vettel.

In Austria, it all appeared to be coming good. Having taken pole, though losing out following a poor start, he fought back and was running second to his teammate when he suffered a hydraulics failure. A week later, at Silverstone, just laps from victory, he was overtaken by Vettel as his tyres went over the cliff, the Finn subsequently dropping to fourth.

Given a vote of confidence by team boss Toto Wolff, who admits to being stunned by the Finn's continuing run of bad luck, Bottas believes he has done enough to retain his seat alongside Lewis Hamilton for a third season.

"Even though I've not scored the points I would have wanted I have always performed at the level the team requires me to do," said Bottas, according to ESPN. "I'm more or less on the level I want personally. For sure that's a good thing even though only the team sees in great detail how I perform every week.

"Having a few wins never does anything bad for you for the future," he admits, "but at least the team knows exactly how I'm performing and the direction I'm going with my improvement.

"I've felt I have been able to improve my weaknesses, and strengths," he adds, the Finn holding his own both in qualifying and on Sundays this year, whereas he was largely overshadowed by his illustrious teammate in 2017.

"Overall performance has just been closer, there have been less big gaps between me and Lewis. No matter if the car's been good to drive or very difficult to drive. I feel I've been able to extract what there is and it's been quite close."

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1. Posted by @R1Racing71, 16/07/2018 10:51

"Correction - that should be Good reason.
Although I could perhaps describe the content of the expensive press releases thrown our way....."

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2. Posted by Greg, 16/07/2018 10:49

"DR for merc"

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3. Posted by @R1Racing71, 16/07/2018 10:17

"So, that's both Mercedes drivers out of contract at the end of the year?
There has to be a very goo reason not to announce at their "home" Grand Prix this weekend......"

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