Valtteri Bottas has been confirmed as Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate at Mercedes for next season ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.
The Finn, who turned 30 on Wednesday, has seen off the team’s French reserve driver Esteban Ocon, and British rookie George Russell, to get the nod alongside Hamilton for 2020.
Team principal Toto Wolff has decided to take up the option on keeping Bottas for a fourth consecutive season.
Mathematically, Bottas is Hamilton’s closest challenger for a sixth world championship, having won twice this year.
But the former Williams driver is 62 points behind his team-mate with only nine rounds remaining. His second place in the championship is also under threat from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen following the Dutchman’s impressive campaign.
Bottas last tasted victory at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in April, and failed to take advantage of Hamilton’s poor showing at last month’s rain-hit German Grand Prix when he crashed out.
He then finished a disappointing eighth at the last round before the summer break in Hungary following contact with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
The season resumes in Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday, with Hamilton looking to edge closer towards a sixth world championship which would move him to within one of Michael Schumacher’s record.
Provided by Press Association Sport
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