‘Too early’ for contract talks – Bottas

May 16 (GMM) Valtteri Bottas’ hopes of hanging onto his plum seat at Mercedes appear to have taken a step forward.

The Finn, who was given only a one-year deal for 2017 after replacing the suddenly-retired Nico Rosberg, won his first grand prix in Russia late last month.

At the next race in Barcelona, he was spotted in conversation with Dieter Zetsche, the chairman of Mercedes’ parent company Daimler as he made a rare paddock visit.

The Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat reports that Bottas’ chances of keeping the seat for 2018 are now higher.

But Bottas said: “It is too early to talk about a contract extension.

“We are fully focused on the championship this year, as we are battling with Ferrari at every circuit.

“Of course, at some point we will have to start negotiations about the future, but that time has not arrived yet,” the 27-year-old former Williams driver added.

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