17.07. - Formula 1
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has dropped his biggest hint yet that Valtteri Bottas will be handed a contract extension.
The Finn has impressed since joining Mercedes as a late recruit during the off-season following Nico Rosberg’s decision to retire.
Bottas needed to step up and prove his worth following the switch from Williams after only being handed a one-year deal.
The 27-year-old now looks well on course to secure fresh terms, having won two events already in 2017, while he has taken up a place on the podium in seven of the 10 races this season.
Wolff admits the team are delighted with Bottas’ exploits and insists it is a "no-brainer" to hand out a new contract.
"I'm really satisfied with Valtteri," Wolff said. "I think, yes, we are 90 per cent ready.
"I think looking at his performance, it really is a no brainer.
"But it's not just about next year but also the years after. We have to put all the puzzle pieces together.
"After the race in Budapest I will think about it some more on the beach.”