Bad news, gossipmongers: the Mercedes Formula 1 team has confirmed that Valtteri Bottas is staying for another season.
F1’s summer break is often a time for rumors, as discussions about on-track action are replaced with idle gossip about who might be heading where come the end of the season. But Bottas won’t be among the transfers, quashing talk that he’ll be replaced by Mercedes reserve driver Esteban Ocon, who’s off to Renault in 2020.
“To whom it may concern…” starts a pithy tweet from Mercedes. “He’s staying!”
“I am very happy and proud to be part of the team for a fourth season and wish to thank every team member and the board of Mercedes for their trust and belief in me,” says Bottas.
“My overall target is to become Formula 1 world champion. I believe that on paper, and from my experience with the team, Mercedes is the best option for me to achieve that goal in 2020.”
Rumors implied that team boss Toto Wolff wanted Ocon, but he seems pretty happy with Bottas: “The results we have achieved together with Valtteri are no coincidence: He has been an integral part of our championship success in the past two seasons, his teamwork with Lewis has been exemplary and he has shown real strength of character in how he has responded to setbacks.
“I’m delighted that he will stay with the team for another season at least—and look forward to seeing him raise the bar even further.”
Reckon Bottas’s title dream can come true? Or is remaining Hamilton’s teammate a sure-fire way of stymying that?
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.