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Bottas on new Mercedes deal: Nothing changes

Bottas on new Mercedes deal: Nothing changes

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Bottas on new Mercedes deal: Nothing changes

Bottas on new Mercedes deal: Nothing changes

Valtteri Bottas says his approach will not change after securing his Mercedes future to the end of next year, but is pleased that "peace" will descend on him during race weekends.

It was confirmed ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix that the 2020 option in Bottas' contract had been activated, the Finn beating Mercedes reserve driver Esteban Ocon to keep hold of his seat alongside Lewis Hamilton.

Bottas confirmed in Belgium that he had started to form contingency plans if he were to leave the Silver Arrows, but is now relieved he can focus on racing.

Bottas said: "I wouldn't say the approach changed except that, for sure, there are no outside disturbing factors from that side anymore.

"I don't need to think about that, don't need to make phone calls between the races, so for sure it gives you a kind of peace for when you work at the races.

"I feel and I know I have the trust from the team for the end of the year and 2020. It's a good feeling and we can really focus on the work, so it's a better situation than what I had before the break."

With his future now secured, Bottas has been backed by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff to continue fighting Lewis Hamilton for the title in 2019, despite entering Monza with a 65-point deficit to his team-mate.

"We're going to encourage Valtteri as we did to go flat out, without getting ahead of ourselves," Wolff said in Belgium.

"Both of them have been very intelligent in their driving and fighting with each other, it's one of the strengths of the team and I'm very proud of how they do it.

"Therefore Valtteri is free to go and fight for victories and for the best possible situation in the championship."

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