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Mercedes’ non-executive chairman Niki Lauda believes that while Valtteri Bottas has not enjoyed the smoothest of seasons in 2017, things will dramatically change for the Finn next year.

Bottas recently admitted that his confidence suffered dramatically during a run that saw his performances suffer greatly in Malaysia, Japan and the US.

But, the Mercedes driver returned to the podium in Mexico City and Lauda believes that things will get even better for him next season as the car will suit him far more than the one he was using this year.

“At the start, the car was suitable for both drivers,” Lauda said.

“But through development, it became more suitable for Lewis’s driving style.

“The reason for what happened is more our fault than Valtteri’s.

“The car for the coming season will suit not only Lewis’ but also Valtteri’s driving style.”

Bottas will find himself in a similar position next year, owing to the fact that he has only been offered a one-year deal at Mercedes.

He will need to provide those in charge with a telling string of results to ensure that he is seen by them as a viable long-term solution to the Mercedes seat in the years to come.

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