Keeping Bottas a 'no brainer' for Mercedes

Valtteri Bottas Sebastian Vettel Nico Rosberg Mercedes Lewis Hamilton

Valtteri Bottas Sebastian Vettel Nico Rosberg Mercedes Lewis Hamilton

Keeping Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes next season looks an obvious decision but the F1 champions need to consider their long term options, team boss Toto Wolff said.

Bottas replaced Nico Rosberg at Mercedes over the winter after the reigning world champion announced his shock retirement at the end of 2016.

Asked about Bottas and Mercedes for 2018, Wolff added: "I think looking at his performance, it really is a no-brainer".

"It is almost a no-brainer", Wolff said. "But I just like to accept the puzzle together, and it's not only about 2018". He took pole position on Saturday and won the race on Sunday while leading all 51 laps and setting the fastest lap of the day, adding yet another rare Grand Chelem to his collection.

Despite the options available to Mercedes, it is therefore expected to keep Bottas for F1 2018 and seemingly beyond, with a decision to 'contemplated on a beach' in August. "That's why after Budapest, hopefully a good race again and we're going to contemplate on a beach on what's about right and wrong for the team".

"We are coming to the point that we are getting to the middle of the season".

The silver-arrow boss obviously isn't in any hurry, but after seeing his two drivers stand in second and third place for the driver's championship, he should certainly be feeling good about the team's future.

Indeed, many expect several movements in the driver market for 2018, with the emphasis shifting away from Raikkonen and Alonso as the 'keys' to the driver market and instead focusing on Vettel, who - according to sources in the Italian media - could be forced to tone down his deal with Ferrari as part of the fallout from his Azerbaijan Grand Prix furore.

"You are not going to hear anything for the next few weeks for sure, like I said before the main target is for me to have a long relationship with the team - that is what I want".