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Thursday 21
March

Formula 1

Wolff sets Bottas benchmark to retain Mercedes drive

4th January 2019, 17:05 by Chris Rivers

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Valtteri Bottas will need to improve his game and challenge for honours in 2019 to keep his job.

The Finnish driver made the switch to the Silver Arrows from Williams on a one-year deal in 2017 and did enough to earn an extension for 2018, winning three races in his debut campaign.

However, Bottas couldn't improve on his first campaign with Mercedes, failing to win a single race as he came home fifth in the World Championship, 161 points behind team-mate and title winner Lewis Hamilton.

Bottas will return for the 2019 season but it could be his last with Mercedes, with Wolff claiming he will need to raise his game and put some pressure on Hamilton if he is to keep his current job.

"Valtteri knows exactly where he needs to be next year," said Wolff. "He needs to have all the bad luck gone and perform on a level with Lewis. That is what is needed for the 2020 year. He knows very well that - and he has that in him.

"Lewis improving means Valtteri needs to improve. I've seen that improvement all the time with him, but you are going against a five-time world champion.

"He needs a start where it's right up there with Lewis and all the other drivers for the championship. That is what he needs."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Chris Rivers is an experienced reporter who closely follows both Arsenal and Wales Rugby Union team. As well as in-depth football and rugby knowledge, Chris is an avid American Football, Formula One and boxing fan.

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