Mercedes confirms Valtteri Bottas will stay for 2021

Mercedes has confirmed Valtteri Bottas will remain with the team in 2021.

The news was widely expected following confirmation Mercedes junior George Russell, the only likely candidate to replace Bottas, will remain with Williams in 2021. On Thursday, ahead of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone, Mercedes formally announced Bottas' deal.

It will take Bottas' tenure with the team to a fifth season. The extension continues the theme since he joined the team, having been kept on a series of one-year extensions since arriving as Nico Rosberg's replacement in 2017.

Bottas is likely to partner Lewis Hamilton again in 2021, although the reigning world champion is yet to sign a contract extension beyond this season.

Bottas looks like the only driver who can beat Hamilton to the title this year, but his hopes of a maiden championship were dealt a significant blow at the British Grand Prix. Bottas' late puncture saw him finish out of the top 10 and drop 30 points behind Hamilton.

Despite that setback, the Finnish driver is still hoping to win a world title for Mercedes.

"I'm very happy to stay with Mercedes in 2021 and build on the success we've enjoyed together already," Bottas said. "Thank you to everyone in the team and the wider Mercedes family for their continued support and their trust in me. I'm very proud to represent this great team and the three-pointed star on our journey together again next year.

"The past few years have been all about continuous improvement, working on every aspect of my performance. I'm confident that today I'm the strongest I've ever been, but I can always raise the bar. Mercedes embraces the same philosophy: They always want to get better and are always hungry for more.

"Ever since I fell in love with F1 as a kid it's been my dream to one day become world champion. I'm in the fight for the title this year and staying with Mercedes puts me in the best possible position to compete for it next season as well.

"We're in the middle of a shortened season and I want to give my absolute best in every single race we'll go to this year. The puncture last weekend was a bit of a blow in my fight with Lewis, but I'm determined to come back strong this weekend on the same track."

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: "I'm looking forward to seeing him continue to raise the bar together with us this year and in 2021."