German GP: Vettel beats Bottas to pole, drama for Hamilton

German GP: Vettel beats Bottas to pole, drama for Hamilton

No financial details were given in a Mercedes statement but British media reports have suggested the new deal could be worth up to £40 million a year and was likely to make Hamilton the sport's top earner.

Bottas is in his second season with Mercedes.

Charles Leclerc led a rain-soaked final practice session at the German Grand Prix ahead of qualifying later Saturday.

The deals were announced at the German Grand Prix with the F1 season reaching its halfway point, and with the usually-dominant Mercedes team under a bit of pressure.

The spokesman said it was important to stop the auto to prevent "heat soak damage" to the power unit as happened to team-mate Bottas during the race in Austria earlier this month.

In Britain two weekends ago in front of his home fans, Hamilton went from pole position to last after tangling with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen at the start but managed to fight back to second place. We'll try to control the things that we can. "Obviously, my goal is to keep performing at a high level - and to make it a no-brainer for the team when it comes to deciding their plans for 2020 as well".

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Lewis Hamilton Extends Mercedes Stay With New Two-Year Deal

The renewal comes after Bottas won three races a year ago having taken over from Nico Rosberg at short notice, and although he is yet to claim victory in 2018, he has endured a number of unfortunate near misses. Although we have enjoyed so much success together since 2013, Mercedes is hungrier than ever.

Vandoorne's profile is very similar to that of Jolyon Palmer and he was released by his Renault team prematurely at the end of the 2017 season with four races remaining.

Bottas is fifth in the standings, 59 points adrift of Hamilton, but his campaign has been blighted by bad luck.

Hamilton was more clear when he said he had not sought offers from rival teams, having made an early commitment to Mercedes and Wolff.

"When we took the decision in favour of Valtteri for 2019, it wasn't just about his undoubted speed and work ethic, but also a question of character".

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