Bottas & Mercedes have begun 2018 contract talks

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Valtteri Bottas is positive a new contract with Mercedes is merely a formality after it was revealed talks had started before the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Motorsport boss and former manager to the Finn, Toto Wolff described the retention of Bottas as a "no-brainer" following his second win of the season in Austria last month.

But a deal does still need to be done with the former Williams driver only signing a single season deal when he was drafted in to replace world champion Nico Rosberg at the start of the year.

"There could be some progress to be made during the break because obviously the last month has been pretty hectic," Bottas commented.

"It’s been difficult to have proper meetings and discussions with so many races. For sure there is some time but there is no rush, we don’t need to get anything done before Spa."

The 28-year-old also revealed he has not sought any alternative to Mercedes, despite some initial claims of a return to Williams being open should his single year not play out at the Brackley outfit.

"I want to start a long relationship with Mercedes, so that has priority," he told Germany's Auto Bild.  "I feel like I'm well inside the team and I've only had positive feedback, so I'm not too worried."

Bottas has exceeded many people's expectations with two wins and remaining a factor in the championship fight. Also important has been the strong relationship he has built with Lewis Hamilton that has hugely improved the atmosphere within Mercedes after three tense years.

In his most recent comments, however, Wolff would set a deadline by which he would like to see a deal done.

"It’s a good time to talk and to think things through," says Wolff of the summer break. "We had some good discussions with Valtteri before Hungary. I’d certainly like to go to Asia for the final races with a decision."

If that's the case, that would give the two parties six weeks ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix in late September.

 

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