Bottas' results won't be only factor in deciding his 2020 Mercedes fate

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Mercedes' decision on whether to keep Valtteri Bottas next year won't just be determined on his results, says Nico Rosberg.

Entering this season under pressure after a tough 2018, the Finn made the perfect start by claiming victory in Australia with many hailing what they saw as a 'new' Bottas.

In doing so, Valtteri also ended a winless streak which stretched back to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Rosberg acknowledges his performance is crucial to keeping Mercedes on side.

“Every year is important and it is always going to be a difficult year against Lewis,” the 2016 Formula 1 champion told the Daily Mail.

“Of course it is important for Valtteri to keep performing and to keep showing he can win races and possibly also challenge for the title, too."

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However, the German thinks the partnership which Bottas and Hamilton have struck, which the Briton once described as the best ever in F1, is also key.

“As long as it works so well, it is harmonious and even if Lewis dominates again, Valtteri doesn’t have to be on one level with Lewis to merit staying on the team," Rosberg argued.

“If he creates a great atmosphere and is good support for Lewis for the championship, that is also of high value and therefore there are many scenarios for him to merit and stay on with Mercedes.”

There is pressure on the Brackley-based team though with Esteban Ocon sat as reserve driver and keen to get his opportunity to prove himself up against Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen at the front of the grid.