2017 F1

Bottas to get 2018 contract before Monza

Valtteri Bottas is set to be the next piece of the 2018 driver puzzle to slot into place.

With Ferrari’s current lineup staying next year, the path is now clear for Finn Bottas to ink a new single-year contract with Mercedes.

“It’s a no-brainer as it stands for next year to continue with Valtteri,” team boss Toto Wolff told reporters at the Belgian Grand Prix after Ferrari confirmed Sebastian Vettel had signed a three-year contract extension.

“It’s only about the details of the contract. The paperwork. In my view, the chances that he will stay in the team are very large,” the Austrian added.

Bottas slipping 48 points behind triple world champion team mate Lewis Hamilton, who is in turn 7 adrift of championship leader Vettel.

He and Hamilton also get on well, with the Briton saying earlier in the week that he saw no reason for anything to change.

“There is another new element in the team and it works,” Hamilton, whose relationship with Rosberg was far more intense, told reporters.

“I don’t believe any of the bosses or any of the individuals within the team is unhappy with what is currently in place, so I find it hard to believe they will change that.”

Sources report that Bottas’ 2018 deal will be announced ahead of next weekend’s Italian grand prix at Monza.

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